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Engineering Mentors
Alabuga International School has been implementing a new strategy aimed at developing engineering thinking skills from the early age (Early Age STEM Education) since September 2018. During the morning hours as an extension of the IB interdisciplinary program in English our students study Maths, Robotics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnology, develop their emotional intelligence, critical and design thinking skills based on targeted programs being acknowledged and developed for early age students.

The program is divided into six week units with a series of assessments and a final project at the end of each, where 70% of content is presented by the STEM-component: calculations, processes, cost-effectiveness analysis, designing, microcontroller programming, electric circuit, robot construction kits.

We believe that apart from the faculty members a school needs successful representatives of real sectors (business, production, science) teaching at school (being mentors and inspirers) those who are «burning» with enthusiasm towards own business and represent an example of success story.

In December 2018 while visiting the best STEM schools in the US we noted that they apply the similar approach, most of the States have the Next Generation Science Standards approved for children from 1 year old, while in California schools they have space field specialists, Hollywood people as well as electronics engineers, i.e. future employers of very young children, teaching at school twice a week.

Being guided by these principles and as agreed with the management of SEZ residents, in school year 2018 – 2019 we employed the first 4 engineers from SEZ “Alabuga” resident plants to teach our students engineering disciplines which will enable them to make their projects more thorough and advanced (Electronics, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry and Biotechnology, Mechatronics, Automated Control Systems, Instrumentation, Industrial Automated Process Systems, Programming etc.).

Apart from children inspired, our school acquired the real experts in technical education who can be consulted with at any time by every school teacher to get the real situation of things. The classes are held together with AIS homeroom teachers and team teachers.

Our mentors of future engineers:
1. Niyaz Galimardanov, chief system administrator in “Belaya Dacha”;
2. Andrey Khammatullin, engineer of Research and Development Department in “Kastamonu”
3. Konstantin Luchkin, electronics engineer in “Belaya Dacha”;
4. Alexander Chernyshov, Head of engineering projects in “Armstrong”.

Within the Week without walls program our school was visited by Artem Liebig, the chief engineer of “RMA Rus” LLC, a pipeline equipment company. In course of interactive masterclass Mr. Artem brought to light the lean production basics and Kaizen philosophy principles that involve a 5S system implemented in TOYOTA manufacturing in Japan. AIS students now are ready to give a reply that 5S is a lean production instrument comprising such components as “sorting”, “setting in order”, “shining”, “standardizing” and “sustaining”. Further cooperation with Artem Liebig is in plans of AIS.

Apart from this project AIS team acts as a kind of R&D Education Center that implements a number of other projects. With a view to develop engineering human resources in the nearest time, SEZ Alabuga in cooperation with Yelabuga Engineering College opens a Targeted Industrial and Educational Center to educate specialists of Mechatronics, Electric Engineering, Automatic Process Control System and Chemistry. Within the frames of this work we are planning to launch production of toys for children where the students will undertake an internship and will work during the senior years of university. The students of Targeted Industrial and Educational Center will pursue dual education studies: most of the time they will be engaged on process sites.

There will be a robotics center opened within the school area to welcome up to 3000 students of Yelabuga Municipal District aged from 5 to 6 years.


ANDREY KHAMMATULLINWhatsApp Image 2019-02-04 at 12.39.43.jpeg

Research and Development Engineer 

KASTAMONU INTEGRATED WOOD INDUSTRY, LLC

“Right from the beginning of my teaching practice I put myself in students’ shoes. I studied Chemistry all over again the way I dreamt of in my childhood. I looked for the books in bookshops and Internet, read a lot about experiments being mysterious and unpredictable for me all the time. When a child I wanted to burn, explode, break, melt to have everything sparkling, emitting smoke, fizzling, flaring and fluorescing. However, now I have clear understanding of that a treasure chest of knowledge shall be opened slightly and carefully having children prepared for this.

You need to overcome stereotypes as even senior students are not comfortable with the thoughts about Chemistry. In fact it is all simple: when students haven’t yet bumped up against the pile of knowledge and are not frightened by incomprehensible formulas and laws, cognitive component allows to make them love the subject, and only then the subject will work for them. If they don’t feel the fear for Chemistry and grasp the science with pleasure, it can be of benefit to them. For me it is like: "climbing up and then going down a hill at ease".

Next stage was to find the way of talking the same language with children and get their attention. To be honest the last thing I would like to have at school is "dry theory” detached from life, that can’t be applied in everyday life. If the theory is not flavored with life experience or interesting facts it will remain to be "unapprehended ". Therefore one needs to look for more analogies from the real life, or better bring them to a class, for students not just to hear about them but to see, to touch and to test (for instance, if it is a wire – they need to bend it, "magnetize", weigh and etc.). Not all the things that are evident and clear for us are easily understood by children, therefore one needs to consider the outlook of children, their capabilities and experience. For me it is like: "sitting down to their level and getting up together with them".

I hadn’t experienced the work with a group of students of more than 4 children before thus I had to work on myself, now and then I had to hold my emotions; if a student is excited, there is no need not to fight with him as we are in fact on one side, and once we were at their place as well. For me it is like: "we are of one blood".

Once a contact was established I had to make them understand that "these chemical effects and phenomena" are not only interesting but helpful as well. Children will get their benefits – students will be able to demonstrate knowledge acquired to their peers, friends and parents. Their special competence will turn to be a claim to fame, while useful skills will serve as foundation for future success. For me it is like: "knowledge is power".

From then on I had to use “targeted” approach in conveying information to students, individually to every child, to the extent it was possible. Every time the number of students joined-in increased, verbal and non-verbal channels were involved in communication with children to the full extent. There appeared a certain "chemistry of relations" like it happens between family members. So there are good reasons why people say "there is special chemistry between us".

When I started to treat students of one grade as an entity I had to engage my memory functions, concentrate my attention, keep in mind all names, and bring to light the uniqueness of every child finding out more about him or her. I was tested for strength by my students as well; children came to know a lot about my perfections, strengths and weaknesses. For me it is like: "I teach children to respect themselves and show respect to me".

Then I had to understand the role of every child in a team, thus I tried to reveal several psychological types. Someone preferred to be at the front line while others were glad to sit out and watch from the side. Leaders, troublemakers, goodies, smarties – all of them will develop their professional and life skills under conditions selected by them. But what shall students do if they can’t make a choice? If they need just to sit it out from bell to bell at such an "awful subject" as Chemistry?
If it does not seem possible to capture the students’ interest with words one needs to engage them in experiments, provide a platform for the inner speaker, leader and explorer. For me it is like: "tell me what you want from science and we will try to get it".


NIYAZ GALIMARDANOVWhatsApp Image 2019-02-04 at 12.06.44.jpeg

System Administrator

BELAYA DACHA ALABUGA, LLC  

“As soon as I heard about the opportunity to diversify my work and start transferring my skills through teaching children – I was ready to venture on it! After all, children are our future.

I would like to share my impressions: I have to be at school for several times a week and shift my work –changing the type of activity helps me to gain a vast experience. During the first classes I felt uneasy with no practice of teaching since university years. When planning my classes I pursued only one aim – not to “pump up” children with information but to recall them to a sense of self-dependence: to think and act on their own, and not just get information already prepared.  In a half a year period I realized how a child shall be individually approached to get his/her skills developed.  Now I can see the primary outcome – it is the desire to create and perceive information.

I wish I could bring myself to teaching earlier – it’s the only thing I regret!”