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The Ministry of Education and Science in Poland, in collaboration with the Copernicus Science Center, is set to establish 18 new Small Centers of Science, known as SOWA – Zones of Discovery, Imagination, and Activity. Until October 3rd, institutions interested in hosting these centers can submit their applications, with the Copernicus Science Center overseeing the selection process.
SOWA Mini Science Centers is a joint initiative aimed at creating a nationwide network of local science centers in smaller towns and communities. The project’s objective is to enrich local communities with new educational environments that significantly contribute to the learning experiences of children and youth, ultimately fostering scientific interest and encouraging educational and scientific career paths.
Between 2021 and 2025, 50 facilities will be established, featuring interactive exhibits for hands-on experimentation and workshop spaces for creative challenges. Institutions applying for selection should have a track record of promoting science, technology, education, culture, and the arts and be located in communities with up to 350,000 residents.
As of now, 25 such centers are already operational across Poland, and an additional seven will be established by the end of 2023. These centers have collectively welcomed over 200,000 visitors and collaborate closely, sharing experiences and resources.
In the current round of applications, 18 more centers will be chosen, each receiving a set of exhibits for independent experimentation. The selection process includes site visits, assembly trials, technological tests, and training for technical and academic staff. Institutions, such as cultural centers, libraries, media centers, and museums, are encouraged to apply and commit to hosting the SOWA Center for five years.
The application process is managed by the Copernicus Science Center, with submissions accepted until October 3, 2023. The results will be announced on October 10, 2023.