Recently, the Science United Festival, organized by Blossom Hill Fellows Erika Gillette and Katerina Tsikalaki, created a global platform for budding refugee scientists, like 12-year-old Khalid from Syria, to showcase their experiments and passion for science. Khalid, living as a Syrian refugee in Greece, along with his Science and Mathematics teacher, Thanos Papathanasiou, and the “One Journey” team, participated in a range of exciting experiments during the festival. With dreams of becoming a doctor or teacher, Khalid expressed his gratitude to Thanos for nurturing his understanding of science at the DRC Greece’s education center in Koutsohero Refugee Accommodation Site in central Greece.
Approved by the Greek Ministry of Education, the Festival witnessed 124 children from 16 countries, including Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Albania, China, Greece, Nigeria, Congo, Eritrea, Russia, Ukraine, and Gabon, actively participating in the celebration of science. Crossing borders, students and teachers came together in a virtual community to present their projects and receive feedback from refugee scientist mentors. Leveraging technology, emergency education offers a borderless world of learning, allowing displaced students to collaborate, share, and learn new science concepts cooperatively with one another.