The International Polytechnic Summer School 2020: first time online
Polytechnic University officially opened the International Polytechnic Summer School 2020. This year it has an “online” prefix. From July to September, more than 200 foreign students from all over the world will study engineering and natural sciences, space technology, information and digital technologies, civil engineering, energy, life science, business and economics, the Russian language and culture. In total, the organizers of the online summer school have prepared over 20 educational modules. For the first time, the virtual format of summer courses was tested as part of the Summer School for young scientists and postgraduate students. The virtual ECMI Modeling Week and the Polyphotonics course are already over. And although the organizers were rather worried, the programs received excellent reviews from both students and teachers.
The meeting with the participants was traditionally held on MS Teams platform. The students were welcomed by coordinators of the Summer School, co-organizers from partner universities and organizations, as well as invited experts.
Dr. Tamura NAOCI, professor at SOKENDAI and co-author of the “Plasma Physics and Controlled Nuclear Synthesis” module, emphasized in his welcome speech: “We all faced many unexpected challenges with the new COVID-19 coronavirus. I am very pleased to meet you today through an online system and to convey the words of welcome for the opening of the International Polytechnic Summer School. SOKENDAI is a unique university with predominantly postgraduate studies and is associated with national research institutes in Japan. One of them, where I work, is the National Institute for Thermonuclear Research. It is engaged in research into thermonuclear fusion, a source of energy for the Sun and stars, as a clean and affordable source of energy on Earth. The implementation of a thermonuclear power plant requires the development of plasma physics and a number of unique advanced technologies, and therefore requires an interdisciplinary approach; if you like, it is a combination of different ways of thinking. The COVID-19 pandemic has led us to the need of a new way of thinking. I reckon that the Summer School will provide you with a good opportunity to appreciate the new style of learning and international collaboration. I wish you all the best!”
For the first time, SPbPU and SOKENDAI University are conducting a nuclear physics program with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Its representative Dr. Danas RIDIKAS, Head of the Physics Section of the IAEA, also addressed the participants. “On behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency, I am very pleased to welcome the participants in the summer school, its professors, students and coordinators. Our Agency, and in particular the Physics Section, supports research and development activities for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Projects such as summer schools are very important to us because they help to involve the younger generation in global issues such as managed fusion. We cooperate with summer schools in Thailand, Costa Rica and, of course, St. Petersburg, a city with a great history and great achievements in science and technology. Today, young people from different countries gather here, but they all share an interest in the field of fusion research and technology. I wish the participants fruitful work and new knowledge. We are happy to cooperate and hope that next time we will be able to see each other in person!”
In addition to a broad range of educational programs for students of the International Polytechnic Summer School 2020, a cultural program will also be waiting for them. “It is impossible to imagine a Polytechnic University summer school without the cultural part. This is its obligatory part, which gives the whole school a special atmosphere. Preparations for the cultural program are as serious as for the educational courses. International students will get acquainted with St. Petersburg, go on a picturesque tour of rivers and canals, visit museums, exhibitions, theatrical and ballet performances. And, of course, they get acquainted with each other and make new friends,” commented Olga YEMELIANOVA, Head of International Educational Programs and Academic Mobility Department of SPbPU. Despite the difficulties associated with the coronavirus pandemic, the participants of the International Polytechnic Summer School 2020 will get acquainted with St. Petersburg: a special virtual tour of the city has been prepared for them, a ballet will be broadcast, and an online quiz will be held, which will allow them to learn more about life in Russia and get better acquainted with each other.
Prepared by the SPbPU International Office