Firefly Science Education program provides elementary school students with core scientific information and problem-solving abilities to help them develop a positive attitude toward science and the ability to think critically. The project’s long-term goal is to enhance children’s visions by including “scientists” in their limited list of becoming a nurse, teachers, and policemen. Thus, the project aims to prioritize two SDGs, “Quality Education” and “Gender Equality” to provide inclusive and equitable quality education to all girls and boys.
Major targets aimed to achieve with the Firefly Science Truck are:
• Provide children with scientific knowledge, skill, and attitude,
• Allow children to discover that science can be experienced through simple, easy learn and fun activities,
• Improve students’ skills through observation and experiments,
The project’s first-year target is to reach 1500 children and encourage them to consider the possibility of becoming scientists as part of their career choices.
“We are very proud to support TEGV's Firefly Science Truck project to enable equal opportunity in education. Most children see the laboratory and science experiments for the first time. Amazing to witness their excitement. We believe this project will rise curiosity and inspire future scientists,” said Aylin Zakuto, Managing Director IMCD Türkiye.
Equal access to education: a global and Turkish vision
In 2020, UNICEF published a report pointing out that one in three teenage girls from the poorest families in the world are out of school. The report also underlines that the unequal distribution of already limited resources results in overcrowded classes, teachers with inadequate education, lack of educational materials and poor school infrastructures.
The situation in Türkiye is not different. According to the Turkish Statistics Institute’s results from the end of 2021, when Türkiye had a population of 84.6 million, showed that 22.7 million of those people were children, making up 26.9% of the total population. Moreover, the data received from the Turkish Ministry of Education in 2022 shows that while the total of primary, secondary, and high schools added up to 67 thousand, the number of total labs from 2021 remained at 45 thousand.
In addition to the high children population in Türkiye, research conducted by, TUBİTAK 1001 and Sabancı University in 2020 examines the correlation between socio-economic conditions of the families and children’s educational levels. The survey, which included 4500 participants had questions that made it possible to measure the socio-economic situation of their environment.
According to the results gathered from the collected data, having a parent who had studied one extra year compared to others, raised 0.75 years in the child’s education level. In other words, a child raised in a household with a parent who graduated from a university and studied eight more years compared to a child whose parents only went to primary school. These findings show how Turkish children’s education opportunities depend on the socio-economic structure of their families.