The 15th edition of Children’s Comenius University has begun
On Thursday 6 July 2017, the ceremonial matriculation of students at Children’s Comenius University took place in the Comenius University Auditorium. Over the summer, 335 children will acquire information about such things as why medicine can sometimes be harmful, why we forget, why we are in the European Union, and why blood is examined.
By: CU Public Relations Office
This year’s Children’s Comenius University was opened by Comenius University Rector, Professor Karol Mičieta: “Today and with your participation, another chapter will be written in the Children’s Comenius University encyclopaedia. In your hands, you are holding the pen with which you will write your own contribution, and it is up to you what message you will leave for future years.” He also told the knowledge-thirsty audience that they will symbolically become fellow students of the TV presenters Adela and Sajfa, the writer Zuzka Šulajová, the Škantár cousins (Olympic gold medal winners), and the Olympic bronze medallist in the men’s C-1 canoe slalom, Takuya Haneda.
“Maybe it will be right here in this auditorium that your own journey of studies, knowledge, and research, as well as perhaps sporting and artistic success, will be forged. You are at the beginning of a grand and breath-taking adventure. I am convinced that you have decided for the best thing that these holidays can provide you with: new knowledge and a wealth of answers to your questions, new experiences, new friends, and a whole lot of fun. After all, Children’s Comenius University is now a part of online sources of information and knowledge in Slovakia, including being a part of social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube,” the rector said.
The Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, Professor Peter Plavčan, also greeted the young students: “I am honestly envious; over two months, you will learn a lot of interesting facts from a lot of clever people. You will visit places which I, for instance, have never seen.”
“The world is constantly changing, and it is up to you to change it for the better. Knowledge gained from Children’s Comenius University will help you in this task,” said the Aréna Theatre director, Juraj Kukura.
Following the ceremonial matriculation, there was the first Children’s Comenius University lecture, which was given in the Auditorium by Dame Carol Robinson, who is a professor at the University of Oxford. Carol Robinson became the first female professor of chemistry at Oxford and is known in the scientific world as a pioneer of mass spectrometrics as an analytical tool. She has also received recognition for her ground-breaking study of the three-dimensional structure of proteins. In 2013, she was made a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. From her lecture, the children learnt why bees sting, what sort of movement their wings make, and what robotic bees are and why they came into existence. Professor Robinson also told them something about her research into proteins, which is something she has been dedicated to for more than 20 years.
The opening of the 15th Children’s Comenius University included the presentation of a Comenius University Gold Medal to Juraj Kukura, who is the director of the Aréna Theatre and a member of the Board of Directors of Comenius University; it was on his initiative that the idea of a summer children’s university became a reality in 2003. He received the medal for “his long-term cooperation, which has contributed to the development and good reputation of the university; for his role in the opening of the magical gateway to knowledge that is provided by Children’s Comenius University to all its participants, of whom many have become full-time students at Comenius University; and for his milestone birthday and the 15th edition of Children’s Comenius University.”
“For me, education is paramount; it is the only guarantee of peace, freedom, and a certain amount of prosperity in this world. This is why education is so important, because people will come here who will create a new world in the way they imagine it. I just hope that what we give them along with Comenius University will serve to make the world that they create a better one than what we have today,” Kukura said.
More information on the 2017 Children’s Comenius University will be provided in the September issue of Naša univerzita (Our university) magazine.
There is a photo gallery of this event on Comenius University’s Facebook page.