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Slide Zdjęcie główne podstrony Discoveries
Competition
What Participants Say

The GIFTED
Programme

About the
Programme
Music Science and Humanities Photogallery Fine Arts Community

About the Programme

The GIFTED Programme is the largest and most important project undertaken by the Polish Children’s Fund. It is a unique nationwide initiative developed in collaboration with hundreds of artists and academics from leading Polish universities, art schools, and research institutes. It targets students of primary and secondary schools from all over Poland who are passionate about learning and about developing their talents. We endeavour to give these young intellectuals the chance to attend classes taught by renowned experts, under whose supervision they can then investigate the topics they find intriguing in a fairly independent manner.

The Polish Children’s Fund takes under its wing more than 500 young people each year: assisting those who do not feel sufficiently challenged in their everyday lives, who want to know more and are willing to tackle difficult tasks, and who – even before graduating from high school – desire to experience what real science and art look like. We are particularly keen to help talented students from culturally and socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds – those who not only do not have access to the financial resources needed to cover the costs of extracurricular activities, but who also lack the appropriate familial and institutional support.

Community

Each year, participants in the GIFTED Programme can choose from more than 50 different classes which are offered free of charge. All our educators – who range from eminent scholars to university students – are volunteers. They are eager to work with young people, whom they perceive not merely as students but also as potential future co-workers. They are committed, open-minded, and well-disposed towards their pupils, but they also have very high expectations of those involved. Equally importantly, the Fund gives participants of the GIFTED Programme the opportunity to meet peers with similar interests, to collaborate with them on art and research projects, to help and inspire one another, as well as to make new friends and acquaintances.

Thus, the GIFTED Programme can be regarded as a true university – an association of both teachers and the taught. This community, strengthened each year by a fresh cohort of the Programme’s alumni, is our greatest asset – and we have been building it for the past 40 years. Such a network of mutual support and encouragement is also what sets our programme apart from other similar initiatives.

Science and Humanities

Our offer for participants of the GIFTED Programme who excel in academic subjects, such as humanities, social sciences, or STEM disciplines, includes a range of small-group classes taught by distinguished scholars. These include specialised scientific workshops, interdisciplinary science camps, seminars and meetings dedicated to humanities and social sciences, as well as summer internships that take place in the institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences and at the various faculties of leading Polish higher education institutions. For the duration of these classes, young people are integrated into research groups: not only do they acquire unique know-how, but they also have the opportunity to tackle the problems that PhD students and senior scientists try to solve in their everyday professional lives. Furthermore, students can develop additional competencies that are indispensable in the world of contemporary academia: communication and teamwork skills, as well as the ability to draw from different areas of expertise. Sometimes our beneficiaries are even acknowledged as co-authors of important journal articles.

Apart from giving them the opportunity to participate in classes, we also provide our scholarship holders with bespoke support: thanks to tutorials and consultations, they can have their questions answered and obtain tailored advice on topics of their choice. Group trips to theatres and concert halls – followed by discussions about various aspects of these performances – are also regarded as an essential part of all of the camps organised by the Fund. This makes it possible for students to embrace novel experiences as well as to take an interest in disciplines that are seemingly unrelated to their chosen field.

Music

To those of our beneficiaries who play musical instruments, we offer the opportunity to perform in prestigious venues. Thanks to each of the 24 annual concerts we organise, four young soloists are given the chance to showcase their skills to a large audience. However, this is not the sole opportunity that is made available to participants of the GIFTED Programme: they can also obtain funding for music-related expenses. Such grants can, for instance, be used to purchase musical instruments or to cover the costs of participation in competitions and master classes.

Nevertheless, neither financial support nor assistance in the acquisition of performance skills is the most valuable thing we can offer to our scholars: the Programme’s alumni can testify to the fact that the true cornerstone of their musical development was the Chamber Music Workshops. During two weeks of workshops, particular emphasis is put on working in groups under the supervision of both distinguished educators and young musicians – our alumni. The Chamber Music Workshops also boast a unique interdisciplinary curriculum, and their participants are able to choose from several courses that range from lectures and seminars on history, music theory, philosophy, and religious studies, to dance and theatre classes as well as astronomical observations. All this contributes to an inimitable atmosphere and creates a competition-free environment in which the participants can easily broaden their horizons and make new friends.

Fine Arts

Participants in the GIFTED Programme are invited to take part in the annual summer painting trip which forms part of the Interdisciplinary Summer Meetings “Rzeczpospolita mniej znana” (a camp that is held in lesser-known but historically and culturally important parts of Poland). Young artists attend painting and drawing classes, art history lectures, and workshops on selected art techniques taught by university educators. We are also keen to ensure that participants have the opportunity to obtain tailored advice through personalised consultations and to access additional sources of inspiration thanks to general-interest classes on topics ranging from philosophy, literature, and history to theatre and film studies. The Interdisciplinary Summer Meetings culminate in two exhibitions of students’ paintings and drawings: the first takes place in the same town (or village) as the camp itself; the other is in the University of Warsaw Library.

The highlight of each year is a collective exhibition in the ABAKUS Gallery in Warsaw’s Old Town, to which our fine arts scholarship holders can contribute. The works to be exhibited are selected by the fellows of art schools from all over Poland and by the alumni of the GIFTED Programme. The two-day meeting that coincides with the preparations for the exhibition also encompasses workshops on a selected technique, a group trip to the theatre and to an exhibition, as well as general discussions about art.

The Discoveries Competition

The GIFTED Programme is not the sole focus of the Polish Children’s Fund. We also organise the Discoveries competition with the aim of incentivising young people to conduct independent research.

Discoveries is the Polish edition of the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS), which has taken place under the patronage of the European Commission since 1989 and is one of the largest and most prestigious science fairs in the world. Its participants include teenage inventors and STEM aficionados from the EU and affiliated countries. The Polish Children’s Fund has been the organiser of the Polish qualification stages for EUCYS since 1995.

Thanks to this competition, young people with a passion for science are given the opportunity to showcase the results of their experimental and theoretical work, to obtain guidance from leading experts in their fields, and – perhaps more importantly – to get to know their peers who share the same enthusiasm for scientific research. Participation in Discoveries also opens many doors in the professional world. Former awardees are now distinguished undergraduate and PhD students, renowned academics, innovative business leaders, or senior managers in multinational corporations.

What Participants Say

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