Alexei Lalichin: Our goal is to raise people's interest for science

“Mendelevium" is the first and only fun & science laboratory in Moldova. It was created in order to make science more accessible

In this project there are shows, performances, seminars and camps that are organized. Recently, these scientists have participated in "Moldova’s got Talent" where they became popular. The laboratory was created by 4 people: Alexei Lalichin, Ruslan Sochirca, Irina Cazacov, Galina Lisan. One of inspirational leaders of the project - Alexei - which is also called Professor 220, told us what it means to be part of this project.

 

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First name, last name: Alexei Lalichin
Date of birth: 09.06.1991
Place of birth: Chisinau
Education: applied mathematics
Domain of activity: Science
Achievements:  One of the founders of "Mendelevium" project

 

  • "Mendelevium" is the first fun & science project in Moldova

The idea of creating this project came to us after seeing something similar in Kiev. In the "Joyful Science" Club, actors did unusual tricks during the show: balloons appeared in the air, liquids turned into fire, ingredients produced sounds and changed their color. Later I learned that this was the result of chemical and physical experiments. Entertaining projects aimed at familiarizing people with science are practiced in many countries and enjoy popularity. To learn how to correctly combine various reagents you must not be a chemist; it is enough to pass a training course with a professional. That is exactly what we did. While learning these experiments our interest for science increased so much that we decided to create our own project. So I began to invent our own experiments.

 

  • We show our experiences and invite the audience to repeat them

Initially we focused only on school-aged children. Then we began to be invited to events for adults - weddings, birthdays, corporate parties – where we performed our show. We do not just make "magic" happen, but also invite the audience to independently perform our experiments. People do it with enthusiasm, and then ask questions, as per se, how they could repeat the experiment at home and where they could get the needed reagents. Unfortunately, not all components can be purchased in pharmacies and specialized stores. Many of them are brought from abroad, through our colleagues who are involved in similar projects in other countries. We keep in touch with them regularly and we make exchange of our experiences and discoveries.

 

  • The school program is poor compared to our laboratory’s program

Firstly, the school program is quantitatively and not qualitatively oriented. Secondly, it is built around theory. Whilst in our laboratory children can touch everything. In our arsenal we have about 10 programs developed on various topics. Sometimes we change the concept of our programs depending on the age of our audience. This year we organized a New Year science show for kids. The show was attended by interesting characters such as Santa Cryogen, Nitrogen Princess and other characters. For children of other ages we have a series of thematic seminars and day camps, where we teach through different games - chemistry, physics, biology and other sciences. During lessons we appeared as teachers with funny names: Teacher 220 (who does dangerous experiments), Professor Molecule (who solves the most difficult problems), Professor Quantum (who explains everything) and so on. We also organize birthdays in scientific style and meetings within "Geniuses Youth Club".

 

  • Often we are asked if practical learning of chemistry will not harm children - they could remain enthusiastic about the things they learned and try to apply the newly acquired skills at home

Some reagents we work with are dangerous if used incorrectly, that is why all our lessons are accompanied by severe instructions. We tell children about positive and negative aspects of each element we use. And who is informed, is armed to avoid irresponsible actions.