Back to Projects

Young Explorer's Club


Grant support

About the program

The program of the Youth NGO "Lviv Open Lab"

Scaling of innovative applied learning and curiosity about science among young people through personal participation, independent experience, and experimentation. The international project “Young Explorer's Club” includes regular informal extracurricular meetings of mentors with young people. The objective is to learn about science and technology through personal participation, independent experience, and experimentation. The key method is to develop multiple competencies and abilities at the same time, during the classes. This allows you to overcome school boundaries between subjects, and shows that making mistakes is important and valuable, since it teaches you to solve problems in different areas of life.


The goal of the Young Explorer's Club project is to promote an integrated cross-disciplinary approach to the teaching and study of scientific and technological disciplines through the holding of clubs of young explorers. With the help of the clubs program, the Lviv Open Lab team tries to show that learning is fun and interesting, and any handy thing will help in this.  

Project Objectives:

  • conducting a training for teachers and students who will use the Young Explore's Club methodology in educational institutions and beyond school hours;
  • running Young Explorer's Clubs for young people (13-17 years old).

Relevance and importance  

The project is relevant and necessary because:

  • because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the full-scale war, the Ukrainian education system has been largely affected, which especially concerns the development of practical skills in the field of natural sciences (chemistry, biology, physics, etc.) among young people. Thus, there is a need foropportunities to gain practical experience, especially in the above-mentioned natural sciences, which are best comprehended in an organic combination of theory and practice. Otherwise, insufficient training of practical skills by students creates a potential risk that in the near future there may be an insufficient number of qualified specialists in these critical sectors for Ukraine;
  • Ukrainian education takes only its first steps to develop interdisciplinary competence. For the most part, various phenomena are studied as a separate subject and one-sidedly. Therefore, within this project, we are developing an approach that allows us to study subjects/phenomena in a multi-faceted way, in order to give young people a comprehensive understanding of things. The LOL team sees their role in this process as an accelerator of disseminating this approach;
  • it should be mentioned that the target audience is interested in training opportunities and high-quality leisure activities. This is evidenced by the data of surveys conducted during May-June 2022 among internally displaced persons who now live in modular towns in Lviv. In addition, according to the survey “Innovations in Sykhiv” implemented by the "Lviv Open Lab" NGO together with the "Institute of the City" MI (the number of respondents is 600 people aged 14-35 years), young people are interested in studying the natural sciences. Specifically, 30% of respondents would like to study chemistry at an advanced level, 26% choose physics, 25% opt for biotechnology, and 25% wish to participate in STEAM events.
  • the project helps debunk professional stereotypes about science disciplines, which are usually considered uninteresting, very formalized, and limited in the creative approach. However, the project shows that science can be taught interestingly and interactively, and classes can focus not on the teacher, who is the only person carrying out experiments, but on students who do research and independently explore the world. Accordingly, this approach changes the perception of young people about science and encourages further development in this area.
  • the project contributes to breaking gender stereotypes. According to the UNFPA study “What Ukrainians are driven by while choosing a profession: the results of national public opinion survey on key factors and stereotypes,” 73% of respondents believe that the division into “male” and “female” professions can be explained by physiological differences between men and women, while 79% said that the choice of profession is largely influenced by traditional public opinion and education. About half of the respondents believe that biotechnology, engineering, and robotics are more of a “male track,” and 27% hold the same opinion for the field of information technology and programming. That is why, from school age, it is necessary to actively involve girls, on par with boys, into the field of science and technology and create positive role models for them.

During the project, young people and children experimented under the supervision of mentors. During the Young Explorer's Club meetings, the most important thing was to have a personal interest of the participants: the club members independently searched for interesting topics and for answers during experiments and research. The key is the research method which develops many skills and abilities. At the same time, it allows you to overcome school boundaries between subjects and shows that mistakes are valuable since they teach to solve problems. During the practical classes, the subjects of such research   were how chemistry works, how experiments are conducted, how you can disassemble your computer yourself, and much more.

Changes Entailed by the Project

The value of the project is to create conditions that contribute not only toeffective, interesting,and applied learning but also to the development of critical thinking skills,teamwork, a vision of a holistic picture of the world, and the ability to apply knowledge tosolve problems from the real world. The development of the above-mentionedskills, in the longterm, contributes tothe formation of future conscious citizens with a proactive position and boosts the dissemination ofthe principles of civil society, gender equality, inclusion and pluralism ofopinions.  By demonstrating applied science to the participants, we teach them toactively listen and perceive information, which is extremely important for thedevelopment of leadership qualities. In fact, the ability to patiently and carefully listen to theinterlocutor is key to effective communication in the team. This skillcontributes to the development of a transformational type of leader who focusesnot only on the tasks but largely on the performers of these tasks, which eventually contributes togreater motivation and trust in the team. The presence of such leaders is aguarantee of prosperity and effective development of both territorialcommunities and the country as a whole, because responsible and confidentpeople can becomedrivers of positivechange in society and in thecountry.


  • 4 open lectures were held on the topics “Lithium is the Lightest But Not the Weakest,” “Comets and Their Search,” “(non)Simple Biotechnology,” “Experiments in the Dark”;
  • 28 practical classes were held according to the Young explorers club method (56 hours);
  • 4 speakers and 3 teachers were involved; tables for the chemical laboratory were purchased;
  • 250 participants were involved;
  • 4 certificates of the completed program were issued to teachers and 50 participants.

This project embodied the main moto of the organization “Science Is Impressive!”.  The participants were excited about the conducted classes in natural and technical areas and received motivation to study and explore the world. After completing the Young  Explorers Club modules, they joined other projects held at Lviv Open Lab, such as STEAM lab.

Thanks to the project and the functioning of the laboratory, young people were able to see and experience what natural sciences are and “feel” science by touch. Teachers learned about the Young Explorers Club program and began to use it in practice (confirmation in the Annexes).

The photo of the comet taken during a lecture at the Lviv Open Lab  will be published at Harvard's Minor Planet Center on December, 19, 2022.

Target Audience

The direct target audience of the project includes:

  • children and young people aged 13-17 years. These are middle and high school students who are either interested in natural sciences and technology, or have a weak interest in these areas, but they are active, curious and ready to try something new. This includes local young people, internally displaced persons, vulnerable groups (youth with disabilities, LGBT community, Roma, national minorities), children of war veterans and fallen combatants.
  • teachers (aged 25 and over) who teach natural and technological disciplines and are interested in expanding their competencies and improving the methods of organizing classes. These are teachers who have already been trained within our project, as well as new potential participants.  

Indirect target audience of the project includes:  

  • parents who are interested in high quality education and development of their children.
  • secondary general education institutions that are interested in the professional development of their teachers, as well as in the high level of success of their students.
  • teachers  of higher education institutions because the participants of our project are their potential students.

Sustainability. Scaling up. Continuity

The implementation of the project has been ongoing since 2020, while the support from the ZMIN Foundation has strengthened it. The team was able to improve their resources and reputation among partners. The project’s sustainability is ensured by further cooperation with the Municipal Institution “Lviv City Youth Center” (in fact, classes are held on the premises of the Institution, their resources and infrastructure are used; the employees of the institution are involved in performing certain functions).  

The team plans to continue cooperation with the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, and the School From Class Foundation.  An agreement was signed with the Embassy of Finland in Ukraine on the implementation of the STEAM Lab project in 2023-2024.  

Negotiations are underway to support the Lviv Open Lab projects  in 2023 by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities Ukraine (UNFPA).  

Therefore, together with partners, the Young Explorer's Club project has a high potential to be successfully implemented in the coming years.  

Thanks to the Young Explorer's Club project, communication was established with young people aged 13 to 18 from the city of Lviv and from outside of Lviv, with their teachers and parents. Project participants are ready to continue to participate in such projects, because they have the opportunity to develop their potential and spend interesting time in comfortable conditions. Teachers are interested in the Young Explorer's Club project methods, and are making their first attempts to apply the methods in their educational institutions.  

The purchase of lab tables will allow holding events and classes for young people because high interest for STEAM education and the Young Explorer's Club program are an important part of the Lviv Open Lab team's work. This will serve as the basis for the creation of a natural inter-school laboratory to ensure high quality education in war conditions.

The project is implemented by the Lviv Open Lab NGO with the financial support from ZMIN, as part of the grant call 2022.

No items found.

Young Explorer's Club

Similar projects

Learn more
More projects