Children became social innovators – they identified problems in their surroundings and designed solutions
Children presented the projects at the Open Future Expo event, which connected people from business and public administration with primary school pupils.
In the Open Future after-school programme, we develop children’s entrepreneurship, digital and soft skills, and lead them to notice their surroundings, think about the world differently, not be afraid to approach these situations and bring solutions to them actively.
The Open Future Expo event created a space for children from Trnava and Zvolen centres to present such solutions. Young people worked intensively on innovations during the school year. They presented them at the event to the guests from business, public administration, programme partners, parents, and the teaching staff.
Prevention of obesity and improvement of the waste separation system
Viki and Bibiána presented a dance workshop for kindergarteners to prevent obesity. An unexpected but positive reaction from the school was the offer to lead a dance club for the next school year.
Michal and David focused on improving the separation system. They were inspired by automatic waste machines – according to them, separating containers (so-called separomats) should be able to identify waste and then sort it. They would place such facilities near homes and shopping centres.
Terka and Viktoria aimed at future secondary school students to help them choose the right school. They created a comic showcasing the options for further study for graduating primary school pupils.
We are glad that among the event guests were also competent people from the City of Trnava, who offered the children a helping hand in the implementation of their projects.
Young people from Zvolen also contributed with their projects. Three friends, Lucka, Dada, and Linda, perceive that we live in a very hurried and hectic time, full of hustle and often stressful moments. Therefore, they want to spread the feeling of joy. Their project not only brings caress to the soul but also to people’s stomachs – the girls hand out muffins baked by themselves.
Martin, Michal and Matúš consider the state of school toilets as a burning problem. It bothers them that they do not have privacy there. Other classmates often charge into the cabins, sometimes throwing various objects. The solution could be a special lock that teachers could open in case of emergency. The boys would solve the problem of throwing objects into the cabin by placing Plexiglas on the ceiling.
Alžbeta is concerned about the issue of testing cosmetics on animals. She would like to talk more about it and draw attention to the painful testing process and brands that do not test cosmetics on animals. As Alžbetka wants to focus mainly on young people, she plans to set up a profile on Instagram, which she will use to raise awareness of this issue.
Adults also participated in creative activities
At the Expo, there was also a creative space known as a makerspace that helps develop creativity and entrepreneurship. The participants could use the space to make candles and soaps, code Lego robots, and experience virtual reality.
In the stage part of the programme, we talked about the year behind us and presented our vision of spreading the clubs to other Slovak towns. We also interviewed Maja and Veronika, representatives of our programme, third-year pupils who had spent their last year participating in the Open Future programme.
A total of 12 graduates emerged from the programme this school year, to whom we presented certificates and small gifts.
We thank everyone who came to the Open Future Expo and the partners who support the idea of our after-school centres. Thanks to you, we have been able to contribute to a better future for young people for four years and support their readiness for life in the 21st century.
A big thank you goes to our leading partner, the Telekom Foundation, who believed in the programme’s vision and has stood by us for four years.