Bulgaria implemented 16 pilots in schools across the country and actively involved 2334 students and 224 teachers. Teachers applied the pilots in their schools, adjusting the suggested good practices to fit their classroom needs. Another 114 teachers, plus 28 teachers from 12 other countries, were involved during the six coaching sessions of the pilots, while dissemination included a broad range of schools and partners’ networks.
Bulgaria was the country with the second highest number of participating students. This might be due to an interesting trend observed in the country: pilots were often not implemented only by separate schools but by clusters of schools from the wider region. The teacher(s) who organised the activities invited colleagues with their classrooms to join them and used a variety of tools to keep discussions and interactions vivid, such as online modules, social media, creation of videos, competitions, joint events and others. Astrophysics was the dominant subject of the Bulgarian pilots, but in most cases they combined different subjects from various disciplines. Science days and competitions turned out to be very popular and, in most of the cases, either stood alone or complemented another practice, such as the pilot’s festive finale. Furthermore, Bulgaria implemented the pilots in the whole country, focusing on some of the most poorly-developed regions. For example, the city of Vidin — the poorest region in the EU — engaged the biggest number of students. Thus, the pilots engaged minorities in STEM subjects to encourage them to pursue a career in science.
A strong relation with the universities was also developed and strengthened, namely with the University of Sofia, the University of Plovdiv, the University in Veliko Tarnovo. All of these have affirmed that they will continue to encourage science professors to engage with teachers and vice versa thanks to MARCH. The project will also be presented during the European Researchers Night 2017.
You can find out more about the individual Bulgarian pilots implemented in each school and the coach sessions here (pdf). For the full report on the Pilots, including pilots in other countries, pictures, evaluation and conclusions from the pilots, you can download it here (pdf).
The pilots in Bulgaria were organised by Forum Democrit.