In Zemun, near the Danube, in a quiet street Pregrevica, there is a unique preschool – Dunav Platz, Science Center for 5 and 6-year-olds. A green garden that seems like a cover of the horticulture magazine hides two unusual and chic houses. Judging by the look, you can assume that behind these aesthetic walls lives a family of creative geniuses, gathered around a noble idea – that knowledge changes the world.
UNIQUE SPACES OF DUNAV PLATZ
The integrative programs of Preschool Dunav Platz, accredited by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, are bravely striving towards the zone of proximal development. The programs are designed, planned and managed by the team of social and natural scientists. In order to maximize children’s potentials, and in accordance with the goals of the program, Dunav Platz spaces are carefully furnished and organized. The entire interior and exterior are there to provide a unique inspiration for the development of children’s interests. Thus, for the needs of inquiry-based and experimental learning, we designed classrooms such as research laboratory, roof garden, aquaponics and hydroponics, insectarium, as well as a special didactic installations: biogeographical zonality of the Planet.
a place where modern laboratory equipment is a basic didactic tool. Dressed in small white laboratory coats, children have the opportunity to learn through practice and experiments, which is essential for acquiring applied knowledge. Besides experiments and scientific research, children learn important lessons about patience and responsibility towards work ethics, which is an important step in preparing for school.
Besides the modern laboratory equipment, it’s our pets that make this place special: agama, gecko, degues, tarantulas. Living together with animals, children develop a sense of responsibility – they regularly check if the animals have fresh food and water, good temperature conditions, proper hygiene in their houses and terrariums. Also, they learn to be cautious and to respect nature. The favourite part is when animals eat salad or insects from our own production! At the same time, children have the opportunity to watch the life processes of different species – they observe reptiles skin shedding, winter sleep, life process of a flower, the life cycle of an insect… This way, children practice fine and gross motor skills , learn the laws of causality, observe processes in nature, become ecologically aware. Also, they learn to coexist with animals and to feel empathy.
INSECTARIUM AND HATCHERY
are the places where children can directly observe the life of the insects’. By changing their living conditions and by observing their behavior, children learn about insects and their features. Also, with the help of the hatchery, we take care that gecko and agama always have a fresh lunch. One part of the insectarium is reserved for the moths that recycle styrofoam, which is an innovation in the world of science.
AQUAPONICS AND HYDROPONICS
are priceless didactic tools. In our kindergarten, children have the opportunity to get to know the closed circulatory system in which plants can grow with a help of the water animals. Aquaponics and hydroponics are both excellent examples of self-sustaining agricultural production, which is in accordance with sustainable development. It helps in raising children’s awareness of modern planting methods in the very heart of the city.
represents a new approach to urban gardening. Raising urban gardens implies the preservation and improvement of the habitat of all the plants and animals living in the city, together with people. Working on projects located on the roof garden, children create a positive awareness of the whole life in the local environment. They also acquire responsibility for other living beings and develop a sense of contribution to the community.
or zonobiomes represent a large installation of climatic, geological, pedological, hydrological, geomorphological, faunistic and floristic zonalities on the planet Earth. One part of the installation is realistic, with real examples from nature, while the other part is an artificial simulation. Since the zonality of the planet is the basis of this year’s regular program, at the end of the research of each zone, children together with practitioners make the zonobiomes installations and thus synthesize knowledge, manually making an excellent didactic tool.
PRESHOOLER & THE SCIENCE
How to prepare a child for school, by not jeopardizing its nature? Simple by fostering child’s curiosity. Children and scientists share an important common trait: each answer causes a new question. Adults should encourage a child to critically observe the world and to search for the answers, not simply to adopt and reproduce knowledge without understanding it. By searching for questions and answers, preschoolers create their own authenical world – the world in which they gain authority, self-awareness, responsibility and self-confidence. The world in which they learn to think. To be part of the community. To nurture their emotional spaces. To live in a harmony with nature. Such a world easily exists in a preschool Dunav Platz.
This revolutionary pedagogical project was initiated in accordance with the cognitive specificity of children’s development at the preschool age. Children aged 5 and 6 years are naturally resilient and they easily adapt to specific spaces and programs of Dunav Platz, relying on the knowledge and experience acquired at an earlier age at Salaš kindergarten.
Children’s curiosity is further encouraged by professionally qualified teachers. Together with preschool teachers, children work with natural and social scientists which are experienced in working with children, presenting them their whole personality, enthusiasm, knowledge and skills.