Ninth grader Mari Asryan has always liked studying the natural sciences. She just didn’t always have a place where she could learn about these topics apart from her textbooks.
This recently changed thanks to our STEM Education in Rural Armenia initiative.
Mari is a student at one of the four schools in the Sisan Region of Armenia, where FAR has helped to renovate and refurbish school laboratories. With the new labs came modern equipment, and teachers were trained on how to be able to use it in the best way.
"We used to concentrate on theory during our lessons because we had no capacity to do experiments, but now we do and it will help us better understand the subject and remember the formulas. Thank you for establishing such a beautiful classroom and laboratory for us; it’s bright, warm and it motivates us to learn more than ever before,” Mari said.
The renovations are part of our Support for Artsakh’s Displaced project, launched two years ago in response to the devastating 44-day war in Artsakh. It is also supported by a broader FAR effort to enhance STEM education in rural Armenia. Many schools in the Tavush and Sisian regions of Armenia received support to build and refurbish science labs, update their curricula, and help build staff capacity--all in an effort to make science an exciting experience for students.
In Sisian alone, the laboratories opened new possibilities for hundreds of students between grades six and nine.
Gayane Barsamyan, a chemistry teacher with more than 36 years under her belt, noted that the new labs had increased the interest of schoolchildren in natural sciences, which could be a prerequisite for them to continue their path in the field. “We used to do very few experiments at the lesson before and would often watch YouTube videos to understand what and how. Now, not a single lesson passes without a topic-based experiment,” she said.
“Our goal is to change the schoolchildren’s attitude toward these subjects and attract their attention, because now, more than ever we need new talents in physics, engineering, chemistry, and tech. Armenia has to become once again a country known for its world-class science and research. The foundations are right here, in these schools with these inquisitive young people,” said FAR Education and Science Program Manager Eduard Karapetyan.