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educationGEORGIATechnology

Georgian student who will work for Facebook : “I’m struggling to be stronger even today than I would be tomorrow”

ლაშა ლომთაძე

Georgian student of San Diego State University, who is a third year student of computer engineering, has became a Facebook employee. It is noteworthy that “Facebook” selected Luka among the best 300 students out of 250,000 students and invited him to Silenac Valley in Menlo Park in the summer.

“Doctrina” has interviwed  Luka Lomtadze.

            – First of all, tell us about you.

-I have finished Kutaisi Physical and Mathematical Public School. I started learning programming in fifth grade. After graduation, I became the student of Georgia’s First Cohort of San Diego State University. From the tenth grade I started and launched 8 start-ups, two of them go on working currently. During the last two years I worked in 10 different leading companies and state structures in Georgia. Finally, I have gained a great deal of experience in different areas of development. At present I am at my university campus in California.

-Talk about your profession, advantages, perspectives, shortcomings…

– I like programming, it’s pleasure when you create a new program that can think independently and help people. I believe that today’s life is unimaginable without this field, with the help of programming you can achieve far better results in any activities. I think that this field is now the fastest growing and, therefore, the most advanced one. The shortcomings that I recall, makes this field even more attractive. In order to be a good programmer, it is necessary to constantly develop yourself and to follow on the development of this field. In case of stopping, your knowledge loses its value. But the process of permanent learning and development is a great pleasure for me.

-As we know, you received education abroad. What is the deference between their and our educational systems and what is the advantage of the education got abroad? 

            -I think the main advantage of the education received abroad is the many-year of experience, that is  typical for  foreign educational systems. In addition, I think that the  learning environment  makes a significant impact on the common result.

            -What do you usually do in your free time?

            -I have a lot of hobbies. I am a photographer, traveler, naturalist and a great lover of an extreme adventure. My favorite thing to do in my spare time is to think.  Basically, I think about the future and try to plan the path to my goals.

-When I arrived in California, “Facebook” recruiters told me that they were interested in me and invited me to a technical interview. Perhaps, as the results of two technical interviews my application became distinguished as I finished all technical tasks pre-term. One week after the last interview they sent me a contract and I am glad that I will work in the Facebook office in the summer of 2018.

            -What about your future plans?What’s your maximum? What are your fighting for?

            -I have never thought about the maximum of my ability. I am sure I will achieve more by working harder. I’m struggling to be stronger even today than I would be tomorrow. I know that the only thing that restricts me is – time and I do not want to  lose a minute. This fight makes me happy. As for the future, I do not exclude anything, I know I will be there, where it will be needed : from the family superfather to the country’s parliamentary member.

 

 

Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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educationGEORGIAphysics

Gela Patashuri – First Year Physics Student, Teacher and Successful Participant of International Olympiads

გელა პატაშური ფიზიკოსი

Gela Patashuri is the first-year student at the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences of Tbilisi State University. He is one of the founders and managers of GePhO (Georgian Physics Olympiad) and is also a winner of many international Olympiads in physics.

Currently, Gela Patashuri is involved in many projects and activities. He discussed these projects and activities in his interview with “Doctrina”.

-Gela, you became known for society within the framework of the “Innovative Online Project”, where you are invited teacher of physics. Tell us about your professional activities.

– The “Innovative Online Project” is a very important project by one of the American businessmen that is being implemented in Georgia. The project was created two years ago and offers educational video lectures, which are distinguished by its original “transparent noticeboard”. The board makes the lectures easier and more convenient for the listeners. Unfortunately, less attention is paid to the technical subjects in Georgia, the project aims to help eliminate this problem and I try to contribute to this.

At the same time, I’m a tutor of physics at Vekua School and the teacher of the Astronomy and Astrophysics circle at Komarovi School, although it is difficult to combine everything together.  I am glad that I share my experience and knowledge with others and help them to achieve success. Besides that, I am getting a lot of experience, learning to speak, to express my opinion, to have a right speech, and through the questions, asked by the children, I look more deeply into physics matters.

– In addition to bringing fame to us at many international Olympiads, you have translated Physics Problem Books by Savchenko, translating process requires more knowledge and experience. Why have you decided to make this step?

– At Komarovi School we use this book for preparing for the National and Physical Olympiad. This book teaches us the methods of solving challenging tasks, but most of the children do not know Russian language, therefore it is difficult to solve Savchenko’s physics problems independently. In addition, in my opinion, such an important book should be translated into Georgian, so this summer I was translating this book and was working on the design. The original chapters of the book were translated by Razmadze school in Kutaisi, and I translated a large part of it, and finally, when I was extremely tired, I made a six-person group of my friends from Komarovi School and we have successfully translated the whole material together. I’m sure this book will help children and teachers and make the learning process easier for them.

-Physics is not so often the favorite subject of children, tell us when did you become interested in this field and what are your future plans?

– I was a lazy student in my childhood and performed poorly at school until I did not break my foot when I was in the sixth grade and had to stay home for a few months. During this period I started reading books, which completely cut me off from my old life and rose my curiosity. This interest was so strong that I totally forgot those around me. The only sensible thing was thinking about the existence of the universe, existence of human and existence or non-existence of God. We started studying physics in the eighth grade, I remember the first lesson. The teacher explained the matters to physics, and I could not stay out of surprise. I felt I was ready to devote myself to thinking about these issues. When the lesson ended, I had already decided to become a physicist. In the ninth grade I was enrolled in Komarovi School. This school, along with the higher level of physics, allowed me to participate in the International Olympiads, where I found a lot of interested pupils and got great professional and life experience.

As for future plans, I would like to be a creative scientist who will be able to gain not only knowledge but will think about contemporary unresolved issues, will think about findings and leave his traces in the history of mankind. This is my future profession and this is my future goal.

 

Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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GEORGIAinnovationTechnology

Georgian Young Inventors Launch App that Helps to Find Lost Valuable Items 

ladybug გამოგონება

The hackathone ,,Gemification&Entertainment”, orginized by Garage48, ended on December 11. Within the frameworks of the event up to 100 participants with the help of Estonian mentors performed own innovative ideas during 48 hours.

The team of the company ARX, staffed by several members, has become the best technical team of the project. In a very short period of time the team members managed to create a sophisticated application called “Ladybug”, which will help users to locate valuable objects when lost.

One of the authors of the idea Nika Devashvili discussed the new application with “Doctrina” .

Ladybug – the application by Georgian young inventors will help people to find their lost objects. This is the system, where any person is able to take pictures of various items (for example a card, a phone, a wallet, a watch and so on) and upload them to the mentioned application, and then the app uses the algorithms of the computer to memorize them and, if any object is lost, and even a completely unknown person finds it, the founder will just need to look at the item with the app camera and contact to its owner immediately.

The application has one more function  of „Pokemon GO“ type, where the people, who have lost their items, are able to indicate approximate place, where the object was lost and to impose any promotional present for those, who will find the lost item. “If any user has lost a memory card with the important files, he\she can put on the map the place, where his/her item was lost and impose, for example, a certain cash prize for the founder. Those people who have free time and are close to the location can start searching for the lost item and the one, who finds the item first will be presented by the owner and will be awarded a new rank in our application,” – Nika explained.

In addition, for example, if you find a lost card, you can see how the cardholder actually looks and can easily connect to him/her through chat.

The author of “Ladybug” is the company “ARX” which consists of 5 members, among them are university and school students. Young people have earned the title of the best technical team in the hackathon, since the mentor and jury consider that it is almost impossible to create a similar product within 48 hours , but the youngsters have successfully completed the challenge and the application created by them will be available from February 10  on the App Store for iOS and Android devices.

Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

 

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AstronomyGEORGIAinnovation

“Cyanocirculation” – How to Create Oxygen on Mars – Winning Project of Space  Hackathon

კოსმოსური ჰაკათონი

The idea of Georgian young inventors on the creation of oxygen on Mars, is the winner of the space  hackathon.

 The final stage of the project “Space Hackathon”, organized by the non-governmental organization “Laboratory of Democracy”, took place on December 13. Young people throughout the country (aged 18 to 25) were able to participate in the competition. As for the main topic of the hackathon, it was colonization of Mars and participating teams should elaborate ideas on this issue. “Everywhere Always” – the team of two young inventors, Davit Khutsishvili and Salome Tatoshvili, who are from Akhaltsikhe region of Georgia, has become the winner of the contest. “Doctrina” has interviewed the friends about their success.

 Davit Khutsishvili and Salome Tatishvili are 18 years old students. Davit Khutsishvili studies in the department of chemistry / biochemistry at San Diego State University chemistry, while Salome Tatishvili studies medicine at Ivane Javakhishvili State University. Therefore, they say that the scientific achievements are very important and good challenge for them, therefore, the friends have decided to participate in the contest. It’s notable that their project – “”Cyanocirculation” has become the winner of the  hackathon,  a contest among the 30 participants . Their  project was highly appreciated by one of the members of the the jury, former astronaut woman – Heide  Piper.

  The friends have decided to create oxygen using “Cyanocirculation”  on Mars. First of all they used  ultraviolet radiation protective glass and solar panels, which collect energy in the battery that transforms into light energy enabling the cyanobacteria to produce oxygen. “The process needs the soil enriched with organic and inorganic compounds, so we will use Martian soil and additional faeces, because human excrements contain water and minerals, which is absolutely enough for viability of cyanobacteria, ” – Davit Khutsishvili said.

It is notable that human faeces contain a variety of bacteria, they are “rivals” for cyanide baceria, therefore until the fecal masses move to hermetic environment, the friends decided to resist them with UV rays and low temperature resulting the dry freezing, just following the process processed fecal masses will enter the mentioned system.

“After taking oxygen it is necessary to control it in our closed system, for this we have created the clock with a built-in mechanism measuring O2 in the blood. The mechanism is  multi-functional one, it also has temperature, moisture and pulse measurement sensors. Thus, we can not only create oxygen, light energy and soil, but also control theem using the compact clock, ” – Davit Khutsishvili said.

    It is noteworthy that this is not the first victory for Davit Khutsishvili and Salome Tatishvili, they diserved the first place in the project “Your Voice Our Future” and have had a five-day visit to Rome.

     This time, with the support of TBC Bank, they will travel to the Netherlands to visit the space agency museum “Space Expo” and to spend some unforgettable days there.

   As for their future plans, the team plans to go on the chosen road and promote science among young people.

 

Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

 

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GEORGIAinnovationTechnology

16-year-old Georgian Inventor’s Platform Allows Remote Access to Personal Files

დესკომი

10 best startups took part in the final stage of the startup competition – “Seedstars Tbilisi 2017“. Online platform “Deskomy” was among them. It allows any registered person to access the data stored in an own computer from any location via the website.

16-year-old Luka Kvavilashvili is the author of the startup. “Doctrina” has interviewed him. 

  • Luka, when and why the idea of creating “Deskomy” began?

– The idea of creating the “Deskomy” came to me in March of 2014 after I started learning  programming and I needed many of my important documents and photos to have always with me. After a while I found the so-called File Hosting websites like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and others. As soon as I used these sites, I had a question about why I could upload only my files and not my entire desktop. At the same time, the knowledge of programming that I already had, was enough to realize that fulfillment of “Deskomy” was actually possible.

What functions are accessible for “Deskomy” customers and whether it is related to certain amounts?

–  For the time being, “Descom” is in the Beta version. Users can upload / download any type of file, to view the most types of files in the web browser (office documents, photos, videos, audio formats, PDF, photoshop, archives). Users can also share files, personalize desktop (change colors, photos and designs) and to use own e-mail in “Deskomy” in order to have files and e-mail in one space.

Registration is free, but the users are limited in memory. Customers get free 3GB memory and in case they need more volume, they will have to purchase it. We think of other business models, too, which will allow us to make the memory free and earn income from other sources (ads, paid applications, businesses, etc.).

Creation of platform is a very difficult process, who provided it?

– For the first one year I was doing the platform alone. Later, upon my father’s initiative, I introduced my idea to “Start Business Solutions”, since that time we are closely working with its founder – Jaba Burjaliani and Project Manager – Sopho Kobaidze. They help develop and fund our idea. As for the technical side, I am working alone on it. However, with the funding of “Startup Georgia”, we will soon have other developers in order to speed up the process “Descom” development.

What about your future plans?

– At this point, we are working on the integration of Microsoft Office in order to allow users to work on Word, Excel and PowerPoint files in the browser. In the future we plan to add a lot of features, such as chat, password files, and etc. In the future, our program will also be available on the App Store. We may launch own easy laptops, like “Chromebooks”, however, our customers will be more complete desktop than ChromeOS’s one.

 

Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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EcologyeducationGEORGIA

Georgian Student Fights against Environmental Pollutants Using Microorganisms

ანანო მჭედლიშვილი

19-year-old Georgian student – Anano Mchedlishvili will work on degradation of environmental pollutants using microorganisms. She is the third-year student of the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences at Tbilisi State University, where she studies ecology. 

Anano Mchedlishvili is especially interested in botany and she has decided to start her volunteer activities in the Botanical Garden. “In this period, I gained practical knowledge in addition to the theoretical knowledge gained at the university. I learned more about tropical plant care and reproduction.  In parallel to the care of plants, you monitor them and it is very interesting. Work in the Botanic Garden has brought me closer to my future profession, ”  Anano Mchedlishvili said.

Most of all, the Georgian student is concerned over the current ecological situation in Georgia. “”Environmental protection is still a secondary problem in Georgia. Nature is damaged most of all due to the predatory use of natural resources. Currently,  it is planned to conduct gold mining works on the territory of “Bneli Khevi” (black ravine) mine. Deforestation is undergoing in a large territory of the country and Fitareti Monastery, which is unique in Georgia with its frescoes, architecture and decorations, is under threat. Improvement of ecological conditions requires the whole ecological thinking of the whole society and we should try to work in this regard, “Anano Mchedlishvili said.

Anano Mchedlishvili is able to continue her future activity in several directions, including algology – the branch of biology concerned with the study of algae. It’s notable that nowadays, we do not have a relevant specialist in Georgia.

“Algae is quite widely used. Besides the fact that some of them are used as food, fertilizer, iodine, in the textile industry, etc., they are the main producers of organic substances in the water basins. For example, chlorella, a single –celled fresh water algae, almost completely absorbs the substances released by humans and animals. Thus, use of microorganisms in bioremediation (bioremediation involves degradation of environmental pollutants by microorganisms) causes degradation of many organic pollutants. The algae “Portieria Hornemannii” can even degrade such a toxic substance like a trinitrotoluene. Algae has not yet been studied fundamentally and this also boosts my interest,” – the Georgian student said.

According to Anano Mchedlishvili, on the background of the construction of nuclear power plants the need for radiation ecology grows rapidly. It requires a high level of nuclear physics  knowledge. The student says that she finds it difficult to make a final decision yet.  Until then, she is an executive assistant to director at the consulting company “Gergili” ltd.

The 19-year-old Georgian student tries to use the years of studying at the university fruitfully in order to overcome challenges in her own field.

 

Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina

 

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GEORGIAinnovationmedicineTechnology

Sign & Sound – Gesture Language Glove by Young Georgian Inventors

ხელთათმანი ჟესტების ენა

Georgian young inventors have designed a glove that improves the lives of people with hearing and speech disorders.

The device helps individuals to communicate and integrate with the public. This is a program that will know the language of gestures, accordingly, it will translate the gesture made by the glove, while the speaker will voice the sentence.

There are three members in the team : Giorgi Bestavashvili, Beka Babunashvili and Giorgi Tskhovrebadze.

“There is the only school for hearing impaired children nearby us. We often noticed that the children talked only to each other and did not actually have contact with the public, because very few people know the sign language today. From this we got an idea, we wanted to invent a device that would help them to start communication with any person and we decided to design the gesture language translator gloves. We think this will greatly simplify their lives,” – said Beka Babunashvili.

“The glove sensors perceive user’s hand movements, translate, and then a speaker voices it. All this happens simultaneously and there is not any discomfort in conversation. The glove is very convenient and is useful in every situation. Of course, over time we will make it more and more comfortable and easy, ” – he added.

Hearing impairment can hamper a person’s intellectual development. People who have been cut off from the outside world are not able to socialize. In order the people with hearing and speech disorders to feel better about themselves, it is necessary that people around them to learn the language of gestures, which is quite difficult. Sign & Sound is an invention to benefit the public. After the development, improvement and establishment of the special glove, this problem will be solved and people with disabilities will be able to communicate with the public.

“We have been working for three months and the first month was too difficult because people with hearing disorders are not paid enough attention in Georgia. They do not have access to the Internet, to social networks, many of them are illiterate, and so they find it difficult to integrate into society. The only way to communicate with them is the language of gestures. In the future, hopefully, our idea will completely correct this situation,” – one of the members of the team Giorgi Bestavashvili said.

The team has only created the glove prototype. In the future, they are planning to obtain funding for the production of gloves.

 

Author: Nini Mshvenieridze

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

 

 

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GEORGIAinnovationTechnology

Airplane of Future- “Griffon” by 22-year-old Georgian Physicist

გიორგი მჭედლიშვილი გრიფონი

  Giorgi Mchedlishvili is 22 years old Georgian physicist, whose international success has recently gained a lot of attention. The presentation of his team’s “Griffon”, the aircraft of future, will be held at NASA head office on September 26 this year.

“Doctrina” has interviewed the young physicist:

-George, first of all, tell us what the essence of “Griffon” is and how the project began? 

-“Griffon” is the model of the future commercial airplane that I have created together with my teammates. Last September, I learned from my friend, Ilon Gordon about NASA’s challenge and from the very beginning we had a very serious attitude to it, because we believed that we could make our contribution to the development of the future aeronautics. A 12-member group were working on the “Griffon”. The group consisted of three teams : engine, aerodynamics and aero design. I worked directly on optimization of engine burning and cooling systems. Just as we have improved burning, we have reduced the emission of the harmful substances by more than 80%, and correspondingly, we have satisfied the essential requirement of NASA. At the same time, improvement of the combustion system allowed us to reduce the fuel consumption by 50-60%.

-Presentation of the project at NASA’s head office is unconditionally a huge success, but, in your opinion, how will the events develop and what are your chances to release the project?

-The main purpose of the challenge was to create a commercial airplane, which implementation would be quite realistic in 2025-2035. Of course, this project includes a very serious financial calculation. The cost of our aircraft production was also competitive with regard to the prices of the market. We have worked effectively in this aspect, so in my opinion it is possible to fully implement a full or certain system (engine or aerodynamics) of this design in future airplanes.

-Giorgi, as I know, in the course of study you have your own business and you are the founder of “SAC Group”. What is your company and what should we expect from it in the near future?

-We established the “SAC Group” this summer and it is one of the first and the highest level consultation and investment services firms in the direction of agribusiness and biotechnology in Georgia and in our region. We are the official partners of the American International Agribusiness Firm, “GIC Group”, which has been involved in implementation of many successful projects throughout the world, including in collaboration with the Chinese government. Our goal is to establish new standards in the region and to develop a vital industry for Georgia. At the same time, it is also important that we have a close and friendly relationship with the founder of GIC Group, Mr. Richard Gilmour, who is a great supporter of Georgia. Richard Gilmour was a very successful advisor in the US government under different auspices. In addition, he taught at Harvard, Georgetown and at other leading universities. So, with the support of “SAC Group”, we should expect many important projects.

-Finally, perhaps, your nearest future plans are still related to “Griffon”, but it is interesting how can you imagine yourself after years or are you going to return to Georgia?

-Now it is very difficult to talk about future plans exactly, but my future is closely linked to the United States as well as to my Georgia, which will definitely get stood up by us!

 

Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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GEORGIA

Second City under Tbilisi, which is being Destroyed

თბილისის მეტრო

There is the second city under Tbilisi. Its construction started from the 30s of the 20th century. In 1941, the Defense Committee of the State issued a secret order according to which the secret underground shelters were to be built for the purpose of evacuating the government.

Tunnels have acquired civil defense function over time. Today, most of the existing bunkers in Tbilisi are destroyed. They also say that the tunnel built on the initiative of Stalin and Lavrenti Beria can even stand atomic bomb. Its location is certainly not known. The underground part of the city is kept secret, so many people try to explore and see such places, they are called diggers.

“Doctrina”  has interviewed one of the diggers Luka Japaridze.

– First of all, tell us about how long you have you been studying the underground part of the city? What is your goal?

We started working about 4 years ago.  We were unified by one of the internet forums. Our team consists of four people and we do not yet think about expanding the group. As far as possible, we try to cross the Georgian borders and examine the underground places of other countries. For example, we were in Armenia recently, we visited Yerevan’s unfinished metro station “Ajapniak” and examined tunnels.

-As we know, construction of tunnels started from the 30s of the twentieth century. What purpose did they serve? It is known that they used the tunnels for civil defense, to protect from air bombing, etc. Do they have they the same feature currently?

According to our information, the first shelter was built in 1932 in Tbilisi. It is located under one of the school buildings in Tbilisi. But there is no conditions to take shelter there.  We also have information that there are about 480 underground shelters in Tbilisi and only two are ready to receive part of the population during the war. Most of the shelters were destroyed or turned into warehouses.

– We know that the location of the objects is secret, but there are several places that are known to the public. Tell us about them.

For example, the underground shelter near Rustaveli metro, which is one of the most famous places in Tbilisi. As a rule, the younger diggers are starting to work from here. The most interesting thing is that the object is of a corridor system and does not have many room. The shelter has been robbed over the years some people misappropriated a certain part and rebult them as storerooms.

-Which object has impressed you, and why? Which expedition would you choose?

-It is really difficult to pick out any object,  because when you find out any shelter and start to study it,  it’s always something different, but in my subjective opinion, the only object that is different from all the others in terms of construction, number of rooms and function is the underground shelter located  on the right shelter bank (of the river Mtkvari) . It is built in the cave. There are up to 100 rooms, and its main function was to give shelter to high-ranking officials during the war situation. It was equipped with a secret material room visitors were given special passes noting which room can they view.

– What is the benefit this area brings to the public?

– This field can bring great benefit to both the state and society. In many countries (for example, in Russia), a number of digers have been taken by security services under their control and they are involved in anti-terrorist operations. Also, this area can offer tourists urban tourism that is developed in many countries of Europe. It is possible to reconstruct objects into museums, hotels, casinos and other places where the state will have some income and the public will benefit from the renewed function of a certain object.

– How do you find similar objects?

– It’s a little difficult to explain. When you are new in this field and you know the structures, it is difficult to find something, but practice brings everything. It is enough to know what are the features of the underground object and how it is connected with the overground world, which objects were built with underground shelters and so on.

– And what about the threats?

– There is a lot of danger. Harmful substance may be ingaled or a ladder can be broken or so on. Many times I have had the cases of touching with asbestos, we have had to get rid of mercury several times, but we have not hinder our work.

They say that many underground objects are being destroyed. Why? Have you asked anyeone for help? and what is the best way out of this difficult situation?

-They are being destroyed because of carelessness. When people were in need, radio equipment and other electrical equipment were brought from such facilities. When such valuable items were were not left, they started to sell scrap-iron. They removed the hermetic doors and almost everything that was made from metal. We have not asked for help, because they refused to open a museum at one of the objects and, therefore, we are past hope. The solution is that these places can be upgraded by another function. It is clear that most people will never be restored in the original form and can not actually fulfill the function, since these objects were designed at the level of development of that time’s devastating devices.

– What are you planning to do in this direction in the future?

We do not have a specific plan at this stage. We want to reconstruct one of the objects as a museum, where there will be stories on different objects, pictures, etc.

– There are many legends, tell us about one of them.

As for the legends, the most popular is the so-called Tbilisi Pentagram, which connects five different houses with each other, and therefore is a pentagram. There are also legends about the tunnel from one city to another. In general, we perceive them as unserious and we do not show any interest in the similar legends.

– Give advice to those who are interested in the underground city.

– I would like to advise those people, who are interested in the underground city, to start with an easy object, it will give them experience, to learn what do mercury and other dangerous materials look like, which are often found in underground objects. The most important thing is to evaluate their physical abilities, equipment and the complexity of the object.

 

Author: Nini Mshvenieridze

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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educationGEORGIA

Peace Corps Georgia in Support of Education and Science in Georgia

Peace_Corps_Logo_Vertical_CMYK

Since 2001 Peace Corps operates in Georgia. Peace Corps aims to promote World peace and friendship.

Peace Corps began its work in Georgia with the English Education program. In the framework of this program, American volunteers along their counterparts teach English in the regional schools. This program is still working successfully and more than 2000 volunteers did their bit in the development of communication skills in English language, teaching methods and resources.

Peace Corps Georgia runs two other programs as well. We Talked about these with Peace Corps Country Director, Steph Smith

-First, let us talk about the mission and aims of the organization. Which spheres are you interested in?

-Peace Corps was established in 1961 by the president of the United States John Kennedy. Currently Peace Corps operates in 64 countries promoting peace, providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand American culture, and helping Americans to understand the cultures of other countries. In Georgia Peace Corps has been working for 16 years. In any country Peace Corps starts working after being invited by the government and its will is very important. We cooperate with the ministries of Education and Science and Sports and Youth Affairs. Our aims are improving English language skills, implementing improved teaching methods and practices, developing resources and improving access to education. Thus, the biggest is the English Education Program. We have other programs as well, which are focused on youth and organizational development, as well as awareness building. The mission of Peace Corps is to provide qualified human resources to the interested countries.

Mainly Peace Corps works in three directions – which are these directions and what are the results?

-In order to improve methods and approaches every year we do surveys and try to analyze our impact and results. Survey results are positive. Currently, Peace Corps Volunteers in Georgia work in three directions: English Education, Individual and Organizational Development and Response Program. Mainly volunteers are placed in the regions. Since 2001, we have been working with Georgian partners at schools, organizations and communities all over the country.

-How are American teachers selected and trained?

-It is not required to be professional. Each program has its criteria, but main is to have enthusiasm and wish to help others selflessly. It is very interesting that applicants do not know exactly in which country they will serve. After being accepted and placed in particular country, different kinds of trainings are held for them during 3 months. They get familiar with Georgian culture and teaching specifics, and they learn Georgian language. Most of all Volunteers are placed in small villages, where the need of assistance is higher. For two years, they leave in Georgian families. Volunteers might come from any state. This year’s group represents 32 states and most of all California. As of age, majority is young 20-29 year old, though we have older Volunteers as well, for example 75 year old. According to statistics of 2016, overall 179 volunteers worked in 10 regions of Georgia.

-While being in Georgia how do Volunteers participate in social life?

-Volunteers actively take part in social life. Some of them speak Georgian. They learn Georgian history, culture and they celebrate holidays. While being in Georgia they become goodwill ambassadors of Georgia by sharing their love of Georgia and Georgian culture to American via emails, blogs and websites. One of our volunteers in Imereti started learning poems of Galaktioni in order to learn Georgian culture even better.

-What are the teaching methods and how are Georgian students and teaching mastering the materials?

-English Education Volunteers along their Georgian colleagues try to develop English language skills for communication purposes. Volunteers and their counterparts develop critical thinking skills and raise awareness about gender issues. It is worth noting that extracurricular activities are held very often. Volunteers organize camps, different competitions and start clubs. In 2016, 7940 students attended formal lessons of English language, of which 5655 improved speaking, listening, writing and reading skills in English language. As for teachers, 189 teachers improved English communication skills.

-One of the directions is supporting organizations. What are the aims of the Individual and Organizational Development project?

-This project started in 2004 and promotes activities of individuals and organizations all over the country. Project helps Georgian citizens, especially youth, women and socially vulnerable population to improve their economic circumstances. Volunteers along their Georgian colleagues work in support of nonprofit, nongovernmental and governmental organizations, as well community groups, sustainable projects and programs. They also promote financial literacy and support development of employability skills. Volunteers and their counterparts organize different trainings and seminars. In 2016, 45 volunteers served in the framework of this program.

-What is the Response program about?

-In the framework of this program, Volunteers arrive with considerable experience and exceptional technical skills. They volunteer from 6 to 12 months. Main directions are organizational capacity development by means of management, fundraising, communication, etc, as well as individual development, English Education and improvement of professional skills of teachers.

-In partnership with USAID Peace Corps has Small Project Assistance program in support of local community development. In 2016, 9743 USD was spent, 38 projects were planned and implemented. Peace Corps promotes an understanding between Georgian and American people.

-How actively are you involved in the science development?

-Peace Corps aims to raise awareness about technologies in individuals and promotes technological development in classrooms, schools, organizations and communities. In 2015, Peace Corps Georgia launched girls empowerment initiative, which serves reinforcement of girls education and gender equality. The project already had 2000 beneficiaries. Apart from this, there are different writing contests and competitions held, both locally and internationally. We are going to keep going down this path. As for summer camps, on this season, more than 200 youth had chance to participate around Georgia. Among those camps there were GLOW Camp (girls leading our world), LIFE (Leadership, Integration, Fitness, through Education) Camp, BUILD ( Boys United in Leadership Development) Camp and SELF (Self Esteem through Leadership and Fitness)

METS (Math, Engineering, Technology and Science) Camp is interesting for its science direction. There girls and boys have access to different sciences and analyze how might math, engineering and technologies impact their lives and future.

-As for future plans, are any changes planned?

-We want to follow the path we have taken. We aren’t going to stop our projects. In the contrary, we hope to deepen our partnership and to have the local support.

 

Author:  Natalia Jalaghonia

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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