They step, play the bus game, get to know Grandad Lesoň and at the same time learn mathematics: this is the Hejny method, which is becoming increasingly popular among children both here and abroad. The method has long been supported by the Depositum Bonum Foundation, which is the younger sister to our Česká spořitelna Foundation.
The Hejny method does not build on dry exercises, but it teaches children to understand mathematics in contexts through games and activities. For example, they become acquainted with addition and subtraction through stepping. Thanks to the bus game, they learn to work with mathematical tables and extrapolate from them.
Do you remember playing tug-of-war? Who do you think is stronger – three mice or a cat and a mouse? Grandad Lesoň is the answer to this riddle. Thanks to him, children become acquainted with numbers as quantities, they count using icons and they gain experience of solving equations. Put simply, the children use basic equivalent equations with Grandad Lesoň.
The Hejny method in 2016 in figures:
- more than 300 seminars throughout the Czech Republic
- 32 summer schools
- 7 large conferences
- 5,500 participants from throughout the Czech Republic
However, the foundation’s projects are also wider. The Česká spořitelna established the Depositum Bonum Foundation in 2012 in order to support Czech society in the areas of science and research and development and education. It dedicated the uncollected money from anonymous deposit books to the foundation’s equity in order to return the money to Czech society. Thanks to this, Depositum Bonum became the largest company foundation in the Czech Republic, with a registered capital of 1,233 billion crowns. Česká spořitelna donated the remaining amount to the foundation in 2017, which means that the total amount donated was 1,662 billion crowns.
The foundation supports the fields of science and technology with several projects. Its main project is Elixir for Schools and this year it will hold the fourth Elixír for Schools conference for 170 teachers from all over the republic. It launched a new project last year called Teacher Live – a one-year training course for students with intensive work experience at schools.
Physics experienced first-hand and untraditionally—this was the aim of the Depositum Bonum Foundation, which over the long term has been supporting education in natural science and technical fields, so that children can experience the joy of discovery.
Česká spořitelna established the Depositum Bonum Foundation in 2012 to handle extraordinary revenue from cancelled anonymous deposit books. The mission of the Depositum Bonum Foundation is to support education in natural science and technical fields, and increase the Czech Republic’s competitiveness. The Foundation is attempting to achieve systemic and long-term solutions. The aim is to create examples of good experience and share them with the public.
Elixir for Schools
Sometimes only a little thing is needed to spark a child’s curiosity. The aim of the Elixir for Schools project is to enliven science and technology and implement entertaining, but high-quality and practical teaching with emphasis on obtaining knowledge. For example, an interesting experiment that a teacher lets the children try for themselves, developing the children’s natural curiosity. In 21 Regional Centres throughout the Czech Republic the DB Foundation, under the leadership of experienced teachers, arranges meetings for physics teachers, so that they can share their experience of teaching, new ideas, inspiration. In each centre there is a package of teaching aids, for example measuring probes, USB microscopes and a model steam engine model, and teachers can borrow everything for their lessons. In May 2015 we arranged a second annual three-day conference, which was attended by more than 170 teachers and for whom around 40 workshops and lectures were prepared.
2015 in numbers:
- 21 Regional Centres
- 250 teachers meet monthly
- 538 teachers borrowed teaching aids in the school year 2014/2015
- 98% of programme participants rated it as excellent or very good
- 85% of teachers stated that they were inspired at the centres and use the ideas in their classrooms
Physics taught interestingly, actively and based on experiments—that’s the Eureka educational initiative. The Eureka community now includes two hundred active physics teachers, is widely known and appreciated in the community of workers in physics education and is also well-regarded at the international level. Thanks to the support of the Depositum Bonum Foundation, the methodology for the Eureka project is still being developed. Financial support for Eureka enabled the organisation of cycles of weekend seminars at which new teachers familiarise themselves with heuristic teaching methods.
2015 in numbers:
- Ten seminars (weekend and full-semester courses)
- National conference for 120 teachers
The Depositum Bonum Foundation supports the H-Mat mathematics teaching method developed by professor Hejný. The method is based on an ingeniously designed didactic environment and teachers who, in it, have the role of guide and chair for discussions between the children about dealing with the tasks. For a long time the foundation has been financially supporting the training of teachers and development of educational materials, including textbooks.
Where does the water flow when I flush? Why doesn’t a bridge fall down? Why does the light in a room shine? These are questions that are asked by the Child’s Small Technical University, to give them natural curiosity and prepare them for future lessons in mathematics or physics at primary schools.
The DB Foundation is a long-term partner of the Eurorebus competition for children from primary and secondary schools that enables children to test their knowledge in an entertaining form. In 2015, 1,500 classes were involved in the competition, a total of 2,000 tests were made for them and 800 children reached the final. The foundation financially supported the writing of a new popular science book about physics called Rande s fyzikou (A Date with Physics), of which 4,500 copies were sold by 2015.