The Children’s Comenius University will Enliven Children’s Summer Holidays for the Seventeenth Time
The Children’s Comenius University, a joint project run by Comenius University and the Aréna Theatre for all knowledge-hungry children from nine to fourteen years of age, will open its doors this year for the seventeenth time. At a press conference on 1 July 2019, the summer school was presented by Comenius University rector, Marek Števček, and the Aréna Theatre director, Juraj Kukura, as offering a rich variety of workshops and lectures on interesting themes which will be delivered by Slovak and international experts. During its existence, this summer school has found a place among other schools, held in Basel, Tübingen, Strasbourg, and Vienna, as an exemplary children’s university.
By: CU Public Relations Office
“I see the Children’s Comenius University as an extremely meaningful project, and I very much look forward to the fact that our university is once again a part of it. We are a research and teaching institution; teaching for us is as important as research. Not to mention the fact that here we will be educating our future students and graduates,” said Comenius University rector, Marek Števček.
The unique coming together of science, education, and art which the Children’s Comenius University offers in its rich variety of topics as well the fact that it also takes place in a theatre (indeed, all the world is a stage), was emphasized by Aréna Theatre director Juraj Kukura. As the creator of the original idea of the children’s university, he recalled the challenging beginnings of what is now a highly respected event: “Initially we went round schools to get children interested, and now after just two days we already had two hundred children registered.” He also pointed out that the Children’s Comenius University has become an elite, yet not elitist, event. “Students from disadvantaged backgrounds and from children’s homes are provided tuition free of charge,” he said.
Over the years, the Children’s Comenius University has had 5400 students complete the course and more than 140 unique lecturers, including renowned scientists and professors from places such as Vancouver, Oxford, Zürich, Berkeley, Vienna, Basal, Prague, Brno, and Berlin.
The seventeenth Children’s Comenius University will begin on Wednesday 3 July 2019 with a matriculation ceremony in the Comenius University Auditorium. The Children's Comenius University anthem will be played during the ceremony, and students will receive their first university grade books. The introductory lecture on restrictions on buying mobile phones will be given by Comenius University rector, Marek Števček. Over July and August, some 340 will learn about new topics in the form of university lectures each Wednesday. Five of these lectures are being prepared by experts from Comenius University. Among other things, they will tell students about why we get scared, why we need to breathe, and why we want to understand the Chinese. Associate Professor Tim Clausen, who works at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, will come and explain to the students why stress is also bad for bacteria.
The series of lectures will be concluded by the psychologist Radomír Masaryk, who is also the vice-rector of Comenius University for External Relations. He will explain why questions starting with the word "why" are the most difficult. This will all be followed by a ceremonial graduation ceremony, which nearly 4300 students have attended over the children's university's sixteen-year history. The series of nine lectures will once again be enriched by a voluntary programme of various accompanying events and workshops. Popular activities include the army workshop; excursions; educational programmes in cooperation with the Slovak National Gallery and the Slovak National Museum; visits to the National Bank of Slovakia, Energoland, and the nature school at Planinka; a dance workshop with Miňo Kereš; and the popular parliamentary Question Hour with Slovak MPs.
Although applications for the Children's Comenius University have now closed, those interested in online study at the university, which organizers are now offering for the ninth time, can sign up for it online by 31 July. The online study option is free of charge, and there is no restriction on student numbers. The only conditions are access to the Internet and being between nine and fourteen years of age.