Robots, nanotechnologies, drones – these are no longer just projects for company engineers alone but also for Moscow schoolchildren in quantoriums. A quantorium is a platform in a technopark outfitted with high-tech equipment. This curriculum has been especially developed for children in cooperation with Moscow high-tech enterprises and cover such themes as robot technology, aviation, space science, geo-information science, nanotechnologies, industrial design and energy.
Two quantoriums are operating in the capital at the moment, in the Mosgormash Technopark and the Moskva Technopolis. In 2017, another 10 quantoriums will be launched in various administrative areas of Moscow.
How children’s technoparks work
Quantoriums help Moscow schoolchildren learn more about modern technical professions and work with high-tech equipment.
Two-hour lessons are held twice a week and are devised for children over the age of 14 to explore present-day disciplines that are in the highest demand, such as robot technology, space science, geo-information science, aviation, industrial design, energy and nanotechnology.
Moscow’s leading universities, such as the Moscow Polytechnic University, the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, and the Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography, supervise these labs.
Moscow is developing a distributive model of these children’s technoparks. The devised structure involves not only educational establishments of the city but also schools with engineering and medical classes, colleges, higher education institutions with technological education support centres, and also innovative and industrial infrastructure such as high-tech enterprises, technopolises, and centres of youth information creativity.
Children’s Technopark Mosgormash
The quantorium at the Mosgormash Technopark was the first one to open in the capital. It was launched about six months ago, in June 2016. Lessons are held here in three subjects: robot technology, space science and geo-information science. Children are split into groups of 12-14 and attend twice a week for two hours.
Teachers from the Moscow University of Geodesy and Cartography teach eo-information science and cartography, while teachers from the Moscow Polytechnic University give instruction in space science and teachers of the Moscow Technological Institute lecture on robot technology.
Over 450 children will be trained at the children’s technopark annually. Apart from the regular lessons, there will be visiting sessions conducted by educational establishments, and joint programmes coordinated with colleges. About 2,500 children a year will take part in weekend activities, which will consist of various learning events.
The children’s technopark is also host to a branch of the children’s manual skills town “Masterslavl”, a leсture hall, “co-working”, and the Cube Centre for Youth Innovative Activity.
Technopolis Moscow Quantorium
The second children’s technopark has been operating in the Technopolis Moscow since September this year. It has an area of over 1,000 sq m and has classrooms, workshops and labs, a multi-media lecture hall, a resting zone, and a sports complex. Most of the technopolis is occupied by a high-tech workshop, which includes rooms furnished with the most innovative equipment for practical learning.
The children’s technopark organises lessons in five areas: nanotechnologies, robot technology, energy, aviation and industrial design. The Nanotechnologies programme, for example, provides learning materials at the micro- and nano-levels. The Aviation course teaches children to design and assemble pilotless aircraft (copters). The robot technology lessons train kids to construct and programme robot devices. The Industrial Design course covers the design of various technological items, from tools to automobiles. Children also create innovative products and identify niches for them. Kids who take lessons in Energy study alternative energy and principles of creating modern transport vehicles using energy as its foundation.
Every year, lessons in quantorium will be available for 450 people and visiting sessions for 300 people. Another 200 schoolchildren will do design work and attend study programmes organised jointly with colleges. Thus, a total of over 3,500 children will be able to study at the technopark every year, including weekend activities.
Deferred job contract
The distributive model of the children’s technopark is aimed at orientating senior classmen towards a profession and preparing a high-tech workforce for the industrial, science-technical and innovative sectors of the city. The model of deferred work contracts launched in Moscow last September is designed for this particular purpose.
Deferred work contracts, or contracts with delayed starting dates, allow the employer to sign a contract with a young specialist who is going through training for the skills the company needs. Thus, the employer assumes the commitment of taking on the specialist after he/she graduates from college or university within two months.
The deferred contracts system allows city enterprises to train high-tech workers, while taking into consideration the requirements and needs of a specific company. Schoolchildren and students in turn get guarantees of future employment.
At present, 30 Moscow senior classmen have signed such deferred job contracts.