Science picnics — Ukraine

2013: 7th September – Tarnopol, 14th September – Lvov, 21st september – Kiev, 28th September – Lugansk, 5th October – Charkov

The idea of making science picnics came to minds of Ukrainian social activists while on a trip to Copernicus. The first of the five local science picnics were held on the 7th September 2013 in Tarnopol, 14th September in Lvov. Both were very successful – Tarnopol saw over 2500 visitors, who could enjoy things prepared by 32 local institutions. Lvov Technical University was visited by over 1500 people, with 13 exhibitors taking part. The picnic at Charkov was just as popular, despite the weather conditions forced the hosts to move the event into the university building interior.

The social significance of picnics should be mentioned. They are remembered not only for being events, which promote science, but also as events which get people together and change them. At times, these were the only open air events without political affiliations. Picnics, which were organized by social activists and local non-government organizations’ leaders with great enthusiasm, met with acclaim among scientists and groups promoting science.

A week after the picnic in Tarnopol, when people signed up for science groups, a third of applicants declared, that their inspiration for joining was the science picnic. For the first time, there were more applicants than places. The picnic hosts have been given a proposition of making a local popular science TV program.

Over 12,000 visitors participated in Ukrainian science picnics.

Copernicus Science Centre took part in all of them, encouraging people to experiment together.

All was supervised on Polish side by the Centrer for Intercultural Initiatives. Support was provided by Polish-American Freedom Foundation according to Transformations in Region RITA project, executed by the Education for Democracy Foundation.