Issue no: 003
• APRIL 2016
• PUBLISHED MONTHLY
PRICE: GEL 2
In this issue... ENTREPRENEURSHIP Sponsored by
FOCUS ON INNOVATION Young Georgians learning to experiment and succeed
Source: British International School Tbilisi
Georgia Welcomed into EU’s Research and Innovation Society BY EKA KARSAULIDZE
esearchers and innovators from Georgia will now be able to participate in Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework program for research and innovation, under the same conditions as their counterparts from EU Member States and other associated countries. Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Tamar Sanikidze, Georgian Minister of Education and Science signed the association agreement between Georgia and Horizon 2020 on April 29. Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program
ever. With nearly 77 billion Euros of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020), it promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. Horizon 2020 is seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs. “The EU values working together with its partners to invest in knowledge and innovation for the future,” said Moedas. Participation in Horizon 2020 programs is now available for all Georgian scientists, researchers and innovators, as well as Georgia-based universities, research institutions, NGOs, small and medium enterprises, foundations, government agencies, and more. Minister Sanikidze claims that this
Stand Out from the Crowd with an AP from American High School PAGE 6
Buckswood Summer School
IYIPO Attracts Young Innovative Minds from around the World
agreement once again proves what a great role science has in the country’s development. “Georgia has PAGE 10 become part of a single European research area. An important step Beyond for the country, this brings a myriad at BIST: of interesting proposals and oppor- of After tunities for our scientists,” she said. In the 7th framework program (2007-2013) preceding Horizon 2020, Georgian organizations participated in 49 signed projects. They have already participated in eight projects within the framework of HoriPAGE 14 zon 2020.
the Classroom the Importance School Activities
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
Warren Buffett – The Money Man and Lessons to Be Learned BY VAZHA TAVBERIDZE
arren Buffett is, according to Forbes, the world’s third richest man. His wealth amounts to a whopping $ 70 billion. There are whole countries that are poorer than him. Now 85 years old, the investing legend, nicknamed “The Oracle of Omaha,” is still going strong – in 2013 alone, his companies saw a huge $ 13 billion profit, which means Buffett himself made $ 1.5 million per hour. Per hour! That’s a lot of money, right there. Frankly told, we’ll be talking mostly about money in this article. Not least because Buffett himself admitted that making money is the only thing “he was good at or cared about”. Do not picture him as a greedy, morally obsolete shark, though – we are talking about a man who donated 85 % of his wealth to charity, because, as he once stated, “If you are among the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.” The lion’s share of his donations went into his friend Bill Gates’ charity fund. One would assume Buffett’s children might not be so pleased about this decision. Well, just wait while I tell you that he’s leaving none of his money to them. No inheritance. Not a cent of $ 70 billion. Because it’s Warren’s firm belief that just because his children were born into the Buffett family, it doesn’t justify them getting a slice of the pie. Let them build their own fortune! And guess what, his children are perfectly fine with it. Let’s take a closer look at this interesting character’s life, shall we? First off, Mr. Buffett is a peculiar man. Peculiarly boring, some might say. While other world-known entrepreneurs owe their fame to something unprecedented (Apple, Microsoft) or all-encompassing (Google, Facebook), Buffett is, one could say,
a one trick pony – and that trick is beating the market. Repeatedly. Over and over again. Is that one trick good enough to be exceedingly successful? You bet. But what also made Buffett so successful is his work ethic. Once again, while others might rely on presentation, charm and savvy know-hows, he relies on sheer diligence and longterm strategy. Just think this over – while most of us dreamed of being professional athletes, models, actors and, in some cases, superheroes when we were ten, 10 year old Buffett was out having lunch with a member of the New York Stock Exchange – that’s when he decided to build his life around money. And he got to it right away, at 11 purchasing his first stock-multiple shares of Cities Service Preferred for $ 38 each. As a teenager, he was already raking in $ 175 a month by delivering the Washington Post newspaper and setting up small “ventures” around the city – for example, three second-hand pinball machines he later sold for ten times the price. At 16, he amassed a wealth equivalent to today’s $ 53,000. Unlike many others from his “league of esteemed gentlemen,” he wasn’t a Harvard dropout, he was rejected- he couldn’t pass the admission interview and had to “settle” for Columbia University, which he, true to his nature, dutifully completed. And then came long years of longterm investing and accumulating wealth. As we already stated, Buffett holds the longest record of beating the market, which saw his chief company, Berkshire Hathaway, transform from a $14 share company into a $ 50 billion monster. Food for thought: if you invested $1,000 in Berkshire Hathaway the year that
What’s That? Whopping – very large Greedy – wanting more and more Obsolete – not having, not functioning Charity – the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need The lion’s share – most of, the majority Beating – succeeding over Diligence - careful and persistent work or effort Raking in – collecting large amounts of Second-hand – already used/owned Dropout - a person who stops going to a school, college, etc., before finishing Introvert – a person who prefers not to socialize Buffett became the majority shareholder (1964), that amount would be $10.5 million higher today! What else can be said of the man? Oh, there are some interesting bits. He’s an introvert and had a fear of public speaking until he enrolled on a Dale Karnegie course. His style of m a n agement would be an absolute no-no for most of today’s enterprises – he doesn’t phone his employees or send an email or meet them. Like, ever. Every year he simply writes a letter to each company’s CEO stating what they have to achieve in the coming year. The letter does the trick. As Business Insider aptly stated, “Buffett has made his CEOs learn his two basic
rules: rule number one, do not lose any of your shareholder’s money and rule number two, do not forget rule number one.” Though friends with Bill Gates, Buffet has very limited knowledge of today’s technology and has sent just one single e-mail in his life. The pair (Gates and Buffett) spend their time together mostly playing bridge which is Buffett’s favorite pastime. Buffett is an avid reader and claims to spend 80 % of his usual workday reading. One last funny-money fact: Buffett has turned having lunch with him into a charitable business venture. The “Power Lunch,” as he calls it, involves an auction for the chance to have a business lunch with him, with the highest bidder getting to bring up to seven people to dine at Buffett’s beloved Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan. The most recent winner paid more than $ 2 million.
Food for Thought Does money make people happy? How would YOU feel if you were one of Buffet’s children?
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
Girl Power to Pump Some Drive into Georgia’s Agricultural Sector
Baia Abuladze, a 22 year old winemaker
BY VAZHA TAVBERIDZE
ll talk of gender equality aside, most of the time when we talk about the agricultural sector and entrepreneurs, we rarely picture good-looking (my editor assures me it won’t be considered as a sexist assessment) 20-something girls as a crucial cog in an enterprise, let alone spearheading them. Yet, the subjects of this article are making sure this perception is set to change and very soon. Meet Baia Abuladze, a 22 year old winemaker who turned a longtime family occupation into a promising business, and Melano Dadalauri, a 25 year old Telavi-born mushroom grower. Baia’s is an inspiring story – ever since she turned 15, her best-laid plans were always set around winemaking. While it is an unusual occupation for a woman, the now 22-year old is in complete harmony with what she does. “I never did anything else but tend to grapes and wine throughout the years, so it’s only natural that I’d go on to fully pledge my future to it,” says
Georgia’s youngest female winemaker. She comes from Obcha village (Western Georgia) where she and her family produce a number of dry and semi-sweet wines made using local grapes called Tsolikauri. Winemaking has been the family occupation for generations, she says, but when Baia “intervened” and took part in the government ‘Produce in Georgia’ micro and small enterprise support program, it became more than just a family business and now she is producing her own brand, Baia’s Wine, and hopes are high that the resourceful youngster will soon find ways to export her production. “I’ve been frequenting international wine festivals of late,” Baia says. She has already become a “business card” for Georgia’s wine industry. The last major occasion for her was the presentation of wines in Italy at the festival ‘National Exhibition of Raisin Wine and Wine Meditation’ (23-25 April 2016 in Volta Mantovana), where Baia’s produce was met with much praise. “Changes are visible in wine tourism, too. We already hosted two groups from Ukraine and are expecting one more soon. As for export, a major British
What’s That? Cog - a wheel with a series of projections on its edge which transfers motion by engaging with projections on another wheel (found in engines and clocks) Spearheading - leading Pledge – promise, dedicate Intervened – interrupted, got involved in Resourceful – using resources in a clever way Praise – say something good about Meager - little Makeshift - temporary Endeavors – efforts, attempts
exporter is interested in my brand,” Baia says. According to the young winemaker, discussions concerning their cooperation are underway and the head of the company is planning to visit Georgia soon. Where can you find Baia’s wine, if you’re looking for quality production? Pretty much everywhere where good wine is being sold in Tbilisi - in Wine Store chains, Wine Gallery, in Smugglers store chains, Winemania, Vinotheca, Wine House “Dionise” and more. You might even stumble across it in a number of restaurants. Equally impressive, and just as challenging, was Melano Dadalauri’s journey on the path of agricultural development. The native of Telavi, the main city of the Kakheti region, returned home after graduating from Tbilisi to start her own business. Unlike Baia, whose “field of expertise” is wine, a nationally cherished production, Melano decided to put her fortunes into… mushrooms. A lion’s share of that decision rode on the young lady’s conviction that you don’t need to have millions to start up a business. She started mushroom cultivation with awe-inspiringly modest savings of just $200 and equally impressive motivation and faith in herself. As profits, meager as they were, began to emerge, Melano used them to invest in better equipment for her makeshift hothouse. To expand and develop further, she sought a government grant, taking part in the ‘Produce in Georgia’ micro and small enterprise support project. This got her production chain onto another, organized level and the road from there was only to improve
further, successfully competing with big producers in Tbilisi. Melano, who is now studying Business Management in Germany to better deal with the many challenges an independent entrepreneur has to face today, hopes that her story will inspire others to follow in her footsteps. And she’s doing all she can to encourage them, too: “The main source of income for the rural population in my region derives from the agriculture sector. That is why our initiative to sell sacks of substrate and promote mushroom farming among the local population will enable them to generate additional income and improve their livelihoods,” she told us, stressing that with the growing demand, more people would be able to invest their time and resources in similar endeavors. “Initially, I decided to start a business to ensure that my parents would have a guaranteed income in their old age. I actually began to work with my bare hands. Through that hard work and dedication, slowly my business began to expand. There was no magic formula – just sheer hard work and dedication. And if you have that in you, there is nothing that can stop you from your goals, small or big, nothing you cannot do!” We can’t argue with that!
Food for Thought What personal qualities does an entrepreneur need? The writer says: “When we talk about the agricultural sector…we rarely picture good-looking…girls.” What do we usually imagine? Why? Do you think the changes are good?
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
The Guivi Zaldastanishvili American Academy in Tbilisi Spring Teacher Conference BY SIMON JANASHIA
n April 23-24, 2016, the Guivi Zaldastanishvili American Academy in Tbilisi (GZAAT) and the San Diego State University (SDSU) in Georgia, jointly hosted a two-day conference for educators. The conference was attended by around 100 participants, mostly teachers from public schools. More than half of the attendees came from outside the capital, some traveling from quite remote parts of Georgia, including Svanetia. The American Embassy in Tbilisi provided support for the conference. The conference was interesting in several ways. Dr. Halil Guven, Vice Dean of SDSU, talked about the importance of STEM (Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics) education for individuals and for Georgia. The country director of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Jenner Edelman, provided information about the new opportunities for developing STEM education in Georgia. The MCC is funding several projects
in this direction, including the establishment of the SDSU programs in Georgian Universities. World famous scientist, Bill Tong, talked about scientific discoveries that he and his colleagues have made in the field of chemistry, physics and engineering, that help early and precise detection of various diseases. The devices they build help to detect Alzheimers, Parkinsons and other diseases earlier than by using conventional methods. This helps to treat patients more effectively. However, the conference did not focus solely on STEM subjects. Teacher of Georgian at GZAAT, Levan Gigineishvili, delivered a compelling speech about the importance of learning Humanities for our understanding of our social and spiritual world. Participants of the
Info Box The American Academy in Tbilisi was founded in 2001 by Guivy Zaldastanishvili, a Georgian businessman who spent much of his life in the United States, and Donald Thomas, an American educator who taught at and led both public and private schools in the US. Receiving US State Department grants of over $ 2 million dollars, the school was founded to be a model for the transformation of Georgian education as the country made the transition from the Soviet system to a democratic freemarket economy. For education, this meant abandoning the rote methods popular during Soviet times for an interactive classroom that stressed critical analysis, writing, and creative thinking.
Food for Thought How can teachers make their students’ learning experience more interesting?
What’s That? Attendees – people who came Remote – far away, isolated Precise detection – find exactly, discover the small details Devices – machines, tools Compelling – persuasive, making you believe Approaches – methods, ways conference also learned about different ways that research can become a part of school life- by assigning research projects to students, for example, or for teachers to conduct research about their own practice in order to improve it. During the workshops organized by the teachers and staff of GZAAT, participants of the conference had the opportunity to understand various approaches to managing student behavior; building e-learning experiences and about using various methods of teaching Georgian, English, Science and Mathematics at GZAAT.
This was the third conference in the last two years organized by the Guivi Zaldastanisvhili American Academy in Tbilisi. At the founding of the Academy, it was decided that its mission would not be limited just to educating some of the brightest minds of Georgia. The founder, Guivi Zaldastanishvili, wanted the American Academy to serve a larger community by sharing the knowledge and skills that teachers and administrators of this school have acquired through their experience and during their studies in the best universities of the US and elsewhere.
EU to Open Sustainable Energy Info Center in Georgia
BY ANA AKHALAIA
he EU-funded regional cooperation program INOGATE will open a Sustainable Energy Information Center (SEIC) as part of a cooperation with Georgia’s Energy Ministry and Tbilisi City Hall. The center will provide information on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources to different target groups including general public, children, youth, small and medium-sized enterprises, policy makers and other shareholders. A similar Sustainable Energy Information Center will open in Moldova, with plans to further expand to Eastern Partnership countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Ukraine. INOGATE, one of the longest running technical assistance programs funded by the European Union, collaborates with 11 countries in Eastern Europe; helping them to reduce dependence on fuel imports, care for energy supply security and minimize the consequences of climate change. The 20-year program will wrap up its activities at the end of the year.
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
Stand Out from the Crowd with an AP from American High School PREPARED BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES
merican High School (AHS) is the newest and smallest section of European School, but we have a lot to offer. The first independent US accredited school in Georgia under AdvancED and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, AHS offers a semester-long study abroad trip with a sister school in Pennsylvania, USA. We also offer more Advanced Placement courses than any other school in Tbilisi. Most of our students are aiming at top universities in the USA and Europe. One of the things that helps them get there are Advanced Placement courses. If you don’t know, Advanced Placement (AP) is a program run by College Board that offers universitylevel curricula and exams to high school students. There are currently 38 AP courses and corresponding exams. AP exams are held in May each year and are scored on a 5-point scale. Students who pass APs (a grade of 3 or higher) can often earn college credit or skip introductory courses in college. American High School currently offers Advanced Placement courses in 16 subjects: Calculus AB; Calculus BC; Chemistry; Comparative Government & Politics; Computer
Science; English Language & Composition; English Literature & Competition; European History; Human Geography; Macroeconomics; Microeconomics; Physics; Psychology; Statistics; World History; United States History. AHS students have performed excellently on AP exams two years in a row. Microeconomics and Macroeconomics are particularly strong subjects where 100% of students who took the exam in 2015 got a 3 or higher (for reference, the global pass rates in 2015 for those exams were 67% and 53% respectively). Last year, a graduate from American High School successfully transferred 28 credits from her five AP exams—almost a full year of credit at University of California San Diego where she currently studies. Besides transferring credits, APs help students stand out in college applications. AHS senior Sopo Chkonia has taken four APs already and will take two more exams this year. She credits APs for helping her get into many top American colleges and universities, including New York University, UC Los Angeles, Vassar College, and Brandeis University. It isn’t just US universities which are looking for AP classes- many European universities value or require AP courses for students with American high school diplomas. APs helped another AHS senior, Tornike Khubuluri, get admitted
to Bocconi University in Milano. Finally, and most importantly, AP courses give students the opportunity to study subjects of interest more in-depth and at a higher level. As AHS junior, Kato Orjonikidze said, “APs contribute to our academic development by giving us a better understanding of social and political issues.” Kato has passed both AP Human Geography and AP World History and is currently enrolled in AP Comparative Government and Politics, AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics. In her current course she explores how different governments throughout the world solve problems and
address various global issues. You don’t have to be an American High School student to take an AP course at European School. AP courses are open to other students at European School as well as to students from outside schools. While we currently offer 16 AP courses, we hope to expand our AP course to offer even more in the near future. For now, AHS students that are interested in an AP course that we don’t offer can still take any AP course they want online for credit. They can do this through our partnership with Georgia Virtual Schools, a program run by the US Georgia Department of Education.
2014 AP Exam Pass Rates Exams at AHS AHS Global Human Geography 100% 52% Macroeconomics 75% 58% Microeconomics 88% 66% Physics B 20% 61% World History 100% 55% 2015 AP Exam Pass Rates Exams at AHS AHS Global Calculus AB 83% 57% Calculus BC 100% 80% Human Geography 60% 54% Macroeconomics 100% 53% Microeconomics 100% 67% World History 50% 52%
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
Protecting Georgia’s National Parks for Our Children’s Children
erman non-profit organization the Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF) recently welcomed its new regional executive director, George (Geof ) Giacomini. GEORGIA TODAY spoke to him about CNF Georgia.
TELL US A LITTLE OF THE BACKGROUND OF CNF IN GEORGIA CNF is a conservation trust fund created to safeguard the Caucasus eco-region, one of the most biologically rich and diverse areas on Earth. We provide grants to the Protected Areas (national parks) of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, and build the government’s capacity to sustain the parks for future generations. Initially established in 2007 by the German Government (BMZ), Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and with only one staff member, today we are a team of 10 working in the Caucasus and Europe.
gazelle and red deer. The region is (Georgia). In terms of a particular eyes and putting your finger down also a globally important migra- place in Georgia – I can recommend somewhere! Wherever you end up tory corridor for birds, and there just taking out a map, closing your will be unforgettable. are a host of endemic reptiles and insect species. WHAT CHALLENGES DO GEORGIA’S PROTECTED AREAS FACE? Underfunding of the parks and staff, threats of unsustainable land use (for example, illegal logging) and the illegal hunting of animals (poaching). The staff I met in the parks and at the Ministry want to improve the parks, but more awareness and resources need to be made available in order to ensure our children, and our children’s children can benefit from the beauty of the Caucasus’ nature.
WHAT ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES YOU’VE SEEN IN THE CAUCASUS REGION? Besides the hospitality of people, the thing that impressed me most was the diversity of landscapes, climatic zones and colors – from the red mountains in Gnishik (ArmeWHAT ARE CNF’S nia), to the green wetlands and dry PRIORITIES IN GEORGIA? CNF provides sustainable support spaces in Shirvan (Azerbaijan), to for the operating costs (rangers’ the sub-tropical magic of Mtirala salaries, fuel, equipment, vehicles, etc.) of parks and to improve the parks’ ability to provide better services to visitors, while protecting the flora and fauna in the parks and surrounding areas. We are also working with the government and private sector to finance and support the development of tourism infrastructure, products and services in the parks. TELL US ABOUT THE GEORGIAN PROTECTED AREAS AND NATIONAL PARKS The Caucasus Ecoregion shelters 6,400 species of plants, at least 1,600 (25%) of which are endemic to the region, and a number of endemic animals, including 50 that are considered “threatened”, which means they have a high risk of extinction in the wild. Mammals include the Caucasus leopard, lynx, bears and wolves, as well as goats,
Safeguard - protect Diverse – many different things Grants – money given for a project Capacity – ability to do something Sustain – keep going, help to continue Flora and fauna – plants and wildlife Endemic – born there Extinction – no more left, die out Migratory – moving from one place to another (every year) Logging – cutting down trees, deforestation
Food for Thought Have you been to a national park? Tell your classmates about it. How can we help to protect our flora and fauna? Why is it important to protect our national parks?
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
Welcome to Buckswood Summer School
uckswood International School Tbilisi is offering an English Language Summer Camp which ideally combines British and Georgian traditions. In the Buckswood Summer School, the academic and nonacademic activities of the program are well-balanced. Along with English language studying, students will take part in various activities, competitions, art and sports contests, excursions and camping. We believe that children and teenagers need a rest and summer is the best time for it. We also think that rest and studying can be combined. Moreover, peers will study together in a quiet and pleasant atmosphere. The number of pupils in the classrooms is low, taking into consideration the needs of the children with their individual abilities, each of them receiving the focus and attention they need to achieve their ideals and to realize that working hard at all levels is the secret of success. Cost: 490 GEL per week, including: • 20 hours of English classes per week; • Living in a school camp and three meals per day; Buckswood International School Tbilisi is an official representative of • Transportation to excursions, entrance ticket costs if needed; Buckswood Overseas Summer School in Georgia, so we can provide a • 24 hour supervision and security; full travel package to Buckswood UK (www.buckwwodsummerschool. • A cap and a course completion certificate; com) summer school, including: • Internet and library; • Air Transfer; • Afternoon activities. • Visa Support; • Travel insurance; • Food and Accommodation in Buckswood UK; • A full package of academic and non academic activities; • Excursions to different British cities and towns. Buckswood International School - Tbilisi Georgia, Tskneti, Rustaveli Ave #52 577 992 993; 577 992 997 www.buckswood.ge firstname.lastname@example.org
Educational Programs in the Art Palace of Georgia
THE SECRET OF COSTUME DESIGN Have you ever wondered how costumes are made for the theater and cinema? What does a Costume Designer do? How do sketches become real costumes worn by actors? Can you design and make your own costume? For the answers to these questions and more, head along to the Art Palace of Georgia where you get to see the original costumes and designs kept in the Museum- either in front of your eyes or through a special computer archive program. WHAT’S INCLUDED 1. Journey through the one of the most significant palaces in Tbilisi, built in the 19th century- a perfect example of gothic and Islamic architecture. 2. Learn more about the history of the Museum and explore five permanent exhibition halls in which the most valuable exhibits are presented. 3. Listen to the history of creating costumes for theater and movies and learn more about the painter’s role. See the costumes and sketches from real performances dating back to the 19th century. 4. Get tested with fun brain teasers to see how much you’ve learnt before discovering different costume sketches from Georgian performances and making your own costumes together with your classmates.
THE PROJECT IS FOR SCHOOL PUPILS. Maximum number of participants is 10-30 children Project duration – 90 minutes Project fee – 4 Gel Pre-registration is necessary to participate in the program! Tel: +995 (32) 95 36 86; 593 11 33 91 Address: Art Palace of Georgia, Tbilisi, Kargareteli Str. # 6
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
Tbilisi to Receive New Eco-Friendly Buses BY EKA KARSAULIDZE
bilisi’s busy streets will see the introduction of 150-200 modern low-floor buses by the end of this summer, according to an announcement following the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) Annual Meeting in London. Georgia’s Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri and EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti signed a loan
agreement worth 34 million Euros for future development projects in Georgia. The EBRD will allocate 27 million Euros to modernize Tbilisi’s public bus fleet and cut vehicle emissions. The loan is supported by a grant of up to 7 million Euros from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership. Khaduri said that the new buses will operate on energy efficient compressed natural gas, which produces fewer vehicle emissions and is cheaper than its diesel equivalent. “This is yet another step to
Why we like CNG: Natural gas vehicles have an excellent global safety record Natural gas vehicles have lower maintenance costs than other hydrocarbon-fuel-powered vehicles Natural gas vehicles emit significantly less pollution than other fuels when combusted (e.g., carbon dioxide (CO2)
strengthen our work with the city of Tbilisi. We are confident that the new buses will be well received by the public and improve both envi-
ronmental and safety standards. We hope to develop similar projects with other cities in Georgia,” Chakrabarti said.
Info Box Compressed natural gas (CNG) (methane stored at high pressure) can be used instead of gasoline (petrol), Diesel fuel and propane. Burning CNG produces fewer undesirable gases than other fuels. It is safer than other fuels in case of a spill, because natural gas is lighter than air and disappears quickly when released. CNG can be found above oil deposits, or may be collected from landfills or wastewater treatment plants where it is known as ‘biogas.’ Worldwide, there were 22.7 million Natural Gas Vehicles by 2015, led by China (4.44 million), Iran (4.00 million), Pakistan (3.70 million), Argentina (2.48 million), India (1.80 million), and Brazil (1.78 million).
BLOOD OMEN, THE 5-BOOK VAMPIRE SAGA Dea was just an ordinary teen... until the vampires came along. Available in Georgian at Biblus and in English on Amazon.com
Vampiruli Omebi 3 COMING SOON! Want to invite the Author to present at your school? Contact her on facebook! www.fb.com/bloodomensaga katieruthdavies.blogspot.com
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
IYIPO Attracts Young Innovative Minds from around the World BY TAMAR SVANIDZE
or the 10th time Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi became the center of innovations, with more than 300 young scientists from 30 countries showcasing their groundbreaking inventions. On April 21-22, Tbilisi hosted the annual International Young Inventor Project Olympiad (IYIPO) allowing novice scientists from around the world to present their research projects to a wide audience at Tbilisi Mall. The aim of the IYIPO is to pick out talented students and to unite the best young inventors, bringing them together and giving them an opportunity to demonstrate their works and projects on an international stage. The rules are very simple: participants should be school students of the 7-12 grades with an eager desire to study and explore new projects in Biology&Ecology, Chemistry, Computer (Information Technologies), Physics, Engineering and Mathematics. After passing a local Olympiad test, the winners are allowed to take part in the International Olympiad in Tbilisi. This year saw projects relevant to modern life and touching on topics ranging from the improvement and simplification of studying science subjects, to the safe purification of water and soil, and how to make
energy savings. Pupils demonstrated how they viewed problems and ways to solve them from a scientific standpoint, often basing such solutions on their own experiences. On April 23, after comprehensive and thorough evaluation of all projects, judges revealed the winning projects and awarded teams with bronze, silver and gold medals. The invention of two friends, Besik Sharashidze and Tsotne Shotadze, from Georgia’s Black Sea city Batumi, won the international contest and the boys were awarded with gold medals.
What’s That? Groundbreaking – never done before Novice – amateur, not professional Eager – want to do something very much Soil – earth, ground Blind – unable to see Courage – brave, unafraid Warning – a message about coming danger Threat - danger SOS - (Save Our Souls) a cry for help
Their project ‘Smart Stick’ for blind people gained immediate recognition. During the exhibition period a group of blind people visited the young inventors’ desk to give their innovative stick a try. The results boosted the courage of the inventors, proving the potential of their project to benefit the blind. The Smart Stick has special sensors which giving warning signals if a threat is closer than two meters. The Stick also comes with a special GPS tracker which switches on in case of an extreme situation. By clicking on a button, the Stick can automatically send SOS signals to up to five numbers which are programmed in, making finding the Stick owner easy. “The idea was born when we were sitting together having fun with friends,” gold prize-winner Tsotne
explained. “One friend ironically pointed out that if we were real inventors, we’d do something to help people who really needed it. This got us thinking and we came up with the idea to create something to help blind people suffering from the difficult environmental conditions in Georgia,” he said. Smart Stick came in first place in the field of physics-engineering, and the creators of the project were gifted with laptops by a representative of Tbilisi City Hall, which has supported IYIPO since 2014. “This year three winners of the Olympiad received laptops from Tbilisi City Hall. We’re going to actively support this project in the future and we also have plans to help the winners to realize their projects,” said Zaza Tsintsadze, deputy head of the Civil Services of Education, Sport and Youth Affairs of Tbilisi City Hall. The Olympiad was originally created by the Private Demirel College as a regional competition and grew into a wider international format. “Some students prepared their projects with the support of teachers. But after this Olympiad they will not stop; all of the students are going to improve on them,” said Mustafa Emre Chabuk, Head of the Organization Committee of IYIPO. IYIPO is supported by the Ministries of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs, Tbilisi City Hall, Tech Park of Georgia, The National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia –Sakpatenti, and the International Black Sea University. Do you have an idea for a new invention? Save the date for this time next year and make sure not to miss the next IYIPO deadline.
Food for Thought What problems might blind people suffer in Georgia? Work in groups. Think of people who need help and how you could help them
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
A Disaster Hits…What Should You Do? BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES
ave you ever experienced a natural disaster? Would you know what to do if one hit you or your family? Landslide, avalanche, flood, fire, earthquake- Georgia has them all. When the flood hit Tbilisi last June, I was at a seminar in Batumi. But it happened to be a very appropriate seminar to be at right then because we were being taught about Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and how the media should report on it when it happens. Everyone at the seminar was over the age of 18 but they still made very common mistakes when the trainers asked what they would do if they found themselves in the middle of a disaster. And it seems that many kindergarten children in Georgia may now know better than adults what to do when a disaster hits, thanks to Arbeiter Samariter Bund (ASB) in Georgia. ASB has so far given training and training materials (flashcards, speakerphones, hardhats and other equipment) to 344 kindergartens in four regions of Georgia at high-risk from natural disasters (Svaneti-Samegrelo, Adjara, Samtshke-Javaheti and Tbilisi). One of these kindergartens is Khobi Kindergarten No.2, where we went to watch the welltrained children show us how they would react during an earthquake, one of a number of natural disaster
types that can hit Georgia throughout the typical year. There are 50,000 landslide-prone areas identified in Georgia. The risk zones include up to 2000 settled locations with more than 200,000 inhabitants. The total area of land damaged by landslides exceeds 1.5 million hectares. Teona Julukhadze, ASB Disaster Risk Reduction Program Coordinator said, “Our project is focused on kindergarten readiness in the face of natural disasters. We give trainings in first aid and DRR to caregivers and teachers who then adapt the materials and pass the knowledge on to the children. We created flashcards to guide them. As part of the project in each kindergarten we created committees who will ensure the safety of the kindergartens after the ASB project finishes. We ran a one day seminar for journalists on DRR and got the children of Khobi kindergarten to demonstrate an earthquake and fire emergency.” Children learn best through play, and the kindergarten teachers seemed to have this idea clearly in their minds. Using ASB flashcards and other material as the basis of their teaching, they are free to adapt to suit the purpose- with games, songs and puppets. Nargiza Tugushi, Director of the Number Two Kindergarten of Khobi said, “I am very satisfied with the training. The children have learnt it well, thanks to ASB and the work of the care-givers here. It is highly necessary and important knowledge
What’s That? Appropriate – right, correct, good Disaster – big and serious event which causes death or damage to buildings or objects Prone – likely to happen Settled – lived in Inhabitants – people living there Adapt – change to make appropriate (for the children) Ensure – make sure, be certain Emergency – a dangerous situation when you need to take action quickly
which they will carry for the rest of their lives.” Singing with smiling, unafraid faces, the children of Khobi Kindergarten No.2 showed how they will handle the next earthquake: calmly and orderly and with every
care not just for themselves, but for those around them. The message of their song as they went down into the playground with cushions held over their heads: Prevention, protection, and help each other! It was an example to us all.
ACCORDING TO STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF 2005-2012: • 20-25 cases of flooding are registered each year in Georgia. • A serious storm happens 5-8 times a year. • 15-20 cases of landslides are registered annually. There are 50,000 landslide-prone areas identified in Georgia. The risk zones include 2000 settled locations with more than 200,000 inhabitants. The total area of land damaged by landslides exceeds 1.5 million hectares.
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
QUICK DRR FACTS - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
LANDSLIDE Rule #1- Get away fast! Run on foot at a right angle to the oncoming flow (do not stay in its path trying to outrun it- you most likely won’t be able to)!
your head! Typical earth tremors last just seconds, which doesn’t leave much time to react. Most of the people at the seminar with me followed their instinct and ran for the door at the first simulated tremor. DO NOT RUN! If you are inside, get immediately under the nearest table or bed and cover your headyour head and spine should be under cover. When the initial tremors have passed you may have a 6-7 minute window with which to move. If you know that outside your building is a big open space and you can make it there within this 6-7 minute timeframe, cover your head with your handbag or a cushion (or any other thick object) and walk quickly and calmly out of the building and move as far away from the building as possible. If not (such as when you are higher up than three floors), open the door. Try to fill the space stay under that table or bed until under the door with (wet) cloth to you are sure the earthquake risk limit the smoke coming in. Go to has passed. the window and, if you know the emergency services (112) are coming, wait. Only open the window if you are NOT sure the emergency services (112) are coming because the in-rush of air can cause the fire to increase. If you are higher up than the third floor, you should not try to jump out of the window. If you have no other choice and are three floors up or lower, tie cloth together to make a rope and try to get out safely however you can- this should be your last option, however!
FLOOD Rule #1- Get out, get high! If you get an advance flood warning, turn off the electrics and gas and move as much as you can (TVs, rugs, valuables) upstairs. Put sandbags in front of your house to limit or prevent water impact. If you have no AVALANCHE Rule #1- Get down! If you’re in a warning, forget the valuables, get building, get in a corner, turn a table on the roof and call the emergency onto its side in front of you, get services (112), then wait. down, cover your head and be ready for the impact. If you’re in the open, FIRE turn your back to the on-coming Rule #1- Get down, wait for the snow and curl into an embryo posi- emergency services (112)! There’s tion. Let the avalanche roll you. If more oxygen close to the floor so you then find yourself buried and if the room is filling with smoke, don’t know which way is up, spit. get down on your hands and knees. The water will fall thanks to grav- If you can cover your mouth and ity and you’ll know which way to nose with a wet cloth, even better. EARTHQUAKE start digging your way out! If the fire is outside the door, do not Rule #1- Get under cover, cover EMERGENCY BAG Rule #1- Keep it close! An emergency bag should typically contain: • A first aid kit (ready prepared, such as those you can buy at a pharmacy in a small zip-case) • Water (half a liter or more) • Dry food, such as crackers (keep an eye on the expiry date and replace as necessary) • Torch and batteries • Whistle, for attracting attention more easily than shouting • Rope • Small portable radio and batteries- for keeping up-to-date on rescue operations
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
Beyond the Classroom at BIST: the Importance of After School Activities PREPARED BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES
t the British International School Tbilisi (BIST), we feel that it is important for children to participate in activities outside of their classroom, to have a well-rounded and balanced school experience. We make the most of our indoor and outdoor spaces as well as the local area, offering children opportunities to engage with each other and the world around them. A wide variety of optional after-school activities is offered to BIST students, from sports to science, crafts to computing. Children also get the chance to showcase their skills: singing, dancing and acting in school drama performances and concerts; showing off their math and science knowledge during our subject fairs; competing in local and inter-school sports tournaments; and engaging in arts, debating and computing as part of our after-school program . Our proximity to Lisi Lake offers the school an amazing resource which is used for multiple sports activities and outdoor learning opportunities such as orienteering, science trips, and volunteering at the local dog shelter. Moreover, each term, all children are given the chance to participate in a range of off-site field trips and activities that broaden their experience.
Food for Thought
ketball not only keep children active, but also help them to learn the value of teamwork, and how to be gracious winners and losers. Learning a musical instrument or a new language is about discovering the art of practice, patience and persistence. Arts and craft activities allow children to explore their creativity, while karate and dance classes teach children both discipline and self-expression. Lego robotics, computing, technology and engineering clubs help our students think creatively, understand how things around us work, and give them the power to create and succeed in a digital world. A wide variety of optional after-school activities is offered to students during BIST’s Extended Day Program (which takes place from 3.40 4.30), suiting all interests, from sports to science, crafts to computing. Both boys and girls can take part in everything on offer, together and the activities rotate mid-year, with students choosing different options for October-February and March-June.
THE IMPORTANCE OF IN-SCHOOL PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORT IN OUR SCHOOL Sport in schools is not just for children who show the skills to become Olympic sportsmen or women. Sport in schools gives every child the chance to take part in regular and enjoyable physical activity which can improve physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. At BIST, we believe that sport should be part of daily school life. Schools play an important role in fostering young people’s physical activity, in teaching and developing movement skills and attitudes needed to participate, and in providing a safe location for the activity to take place. An effective school physical education program includes AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES Clubs give children the opportunity to explore different talents, gain time for daily play (at least 60 minutes) and structured and unstrucconfidence, learn to take risks and try new things, meet new friends, and tured physical activities, provides recreation and sport, and offers interact with different adults. Team sports like football, rugby and bas- quality physical education for all. With our new campus and large sports court, field and play area come opportunities to offer many different sports that may not be played in many of our students’ home countries.
Before you read… What are the advantages of an active lifestyle? How active are you, your friends and family? How much physical activity should a school student get per day? What personal qualities are needed to learn a new language or learn how to play a musical instrument?
OUTDOOR EDUCATION Outdoor education gives children the opportunity to acquire greater confidence and leadership skills. These memorable learning experiences can impact on students’ learning for a lifetime. At the British International School (BIST), we are lucky to have one of Tbilisi’s ‘Green Areas’ right on our doorstep. A natural lake located in the hills above the city, Lisi Lake provides the students with many opportunities to explore and engage with the great outdoors, through a variety of different physical activities such as orienteering, mountain-
GEORGIA TODAY APRIL 2016
Info Box Examples of BIST’s After-School Activities The list below provides an example of the activities on offer, and is updated to reflect demand.
biking, cross-country running and hiking. The lake and its surrounding environment is also a perfect place to study different geography and science topics, to use as an inspirational scene for art activities, or as motivation for various writing projects. BIST also benefits from Georgia’s beautiful and varied countryside, with its mountains, coastal regions, and valleys, which lends itself to ski camps, leadership and confidence camps, and other excursions into nature.
Cross-Country Running Outdoor Pursuits Animal Welfare Awareness Ballet Dance Aerobics Georgian Dance Latin Dance Music & Movement Chess Roller-Blading Ice-Skating Basketball Karate Football Tennis Tag Rugby
Trampolining Science Club Mandarin Chinese Beginner Spanish Cross-Stitch Green Engineering Engineering Club Singing School Band Debating Lego Club Lego Robotics Computer Club Arts & Crafts No-Bake Cooking Destination Imagination
What’s That? Well-rounded – including many things Engage with – connect to, be a part of Optional – you can do it if you want Showcase – show, demonstrate Proximity – nearby, close to Shelter – a place which protects (someone/something) for a short time Field trips – visits to different places to learn something Gracious – nice, polite Fostering – helping to develop Acquire – get PUBLISHER & GM
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