With this project, we will help solve the problem in education and more specifically in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths). A 2017 EU survey shows that Bulgaria has one of the lowest numbers of STEM graduates per 1,000 people – 20.5% of all graduates with an EU average level of 25.8%. STEM development is one of Shell's top priorities globally. In a world where energy demand will grow, it is important to prepare good specialists from an early age to look for low-carbon solutions to meet growing energy needs. That's why Shell actively supports engineering education. One of Shell's most significant projects in STEM education in Bulgaria is PlanetUm. The project is also in line with the Development Programme Bulgaria 2030.
Project Target Group
Bulgarian students. They are last in the EU in functional literacy according to PISA results at the end of 2019. This means that they cannot effectively apply their knowledge in practice. PlanetUm will look for solutions to this problem and will seek to improve the link between theory and practice. This can generate interest in science in children and lay the foundations for the building of quality experts in the field and will have long-term positive effects for the economy and society as well.
We support social projects that are sustainable and PlanetUm is the sixth of 8 social projects Shell has implemented in Bulgaria in the last 4 years with a total value of 2 million BGN. So far, MGU “Ivan Rilski" and SU "Kliment Ohridski" have been supported with the renovation of laboratories and provision of equipment. In Nessebar and Pomorie Shell supported the construction of children's playgrounds and sports grounds, and in Primorsko provided classroom equipment for the local school.
PlanetUm has a STEM zone where visitors can participate in various scientific experiments and workshops and enrich their knowledge. The STEM area will host major scientific events and trainings, it will be a place that creates communities of people with interests in science. It is also planned to organize school tours and the participation of external lecturers.
Due to the restrictions related to the COVID 19 pandemic, the planned official opening was cancelled. However, the opening of PlanetUm was widely promoted by Shell in the media through press releases, including on
Shell website https://www.shell.bg/media/2020/shell-supports-the-establishment-of-the-new-science-and-energy-centre-planetum-in-the-townofburgas.html
and Shell Facebook page https://fb.watch/2X-WWuds4G/
Shell also presented the project at the conference "Business is GREAT - British Success Stories in Bulgaria" organized by the British Business Association.
PlanetUm will be the new landmark destination in Burgas. This is a place where every child will become an explorer and understand that science can be very interesting and even fun. The center has three zones, Energy, Discovery, and Innovation. Over 20 educational interactive installations show visitors how the energy from different traditional and renewable sources is generated and used, introduces some of the discoveries that have changed the world, and present interesting and little-known facts. The most valuable thing is that there children are not just observers of different processes, but active participants in them. Dozens of studies and good practices from countries with highly developed education systems show that it is gaming learning that leads to high results in science.