Travel and Networking with Educators Stem and IT in Russia Part One-Water

ImageI am back from a trip to Russia.The purpose of my trip was to exchange good ideas, good practices with youth and education leaders in Russia.  I learned some Russian… not enough in fact, but I had two outstanding Eurasia Foundation Fellows with me who were so fluent that I barely had to use my Russian. The Project was the SEE U.S. Russia Expertise Exchange, Eurasia Foundation. It was a life-changing experience.If you know me, you know that I have had a Fulbright to India, that I traveled China with the Thornburg Institute and that I have been traveling and sharing technology since the Clinton Administration’s White House Technology Initiative Cyber-Ed which started off in the states of the US. Another experience was the study of the Owens Valley, on Water Use in America.That was a National Geographic project. There have been 22 official technology and IT trips worldwide one of the most interesting to Jordan with US AID ( on water).Another interesting trip was to New Zealand. But each trip had its own value.





I found fascinating projects on science, technology, engineering and math. I hope that the political difficulties will subside so that I can continue the networking, collaboration, establishing community with the people I traveled so far to learn, and establish connections with.I was assisted in language by two outstanding Eurasian Fellows whose specialty was the Russian Language. Sarah Choi and Alexandra Kohut. They were taught Russian in College and the languages were their specialty,  both had lived in various places in Russia and had a network of friends and language specialists with intense knowledge of Russia. My husband joined us, and he brought to the mix as a traveler with us, the culture, language, music of Russia through application, that is he took us to the opera, re-introduced me to the music and literature, and on occasion we had fine dining and museum experiences. It is one thing to read opera , it is a transformative experience to visit the Russian Opera in Saint Petersburg.We saw modern stage plays in Saint Petersburg and visited the Hermitage.We attended ballet in Samara, and explored the space museum . But this blog is about STEM.


Michael Epstein is one of the Russian Fellows, while visiting his institute, we discovered we both had done intensive study of water.He scheduled for me a trip to the Water Museum. t’s easy to see where the concept for this museum came from. According to Peter the Great’s plans for the city, it was specifically water that would join the city of St. Petersburg with Europe and, by filling its canals, turn this marshy site into the ‘Venice of the North’.

Museum of Water, Saint Petersburg

“St. Petersburg’s Museum of Water is located in a former water-tower, and was presented to the city by local water monopoly Vodokanal as part of the 300th Anniversary celebrations. The water-tower, built in 1860 by Ivan Merts and Ernest Shuberskiy, was the first in St. Petersburg and marked the start of a proper water supply to the city, and now it houses a unique museum that uses the latest in exhibition technology.”

“The exhibition is very modern, hi-tech and hands-on. Visitors can, among other things, try their hand at assembling a plumbing system, operate pumps and learn about the workings of the dam and steam engine which pumps the water in the tower. Here you can see everything to do with the provision and processing of water in the city, from its founding to the present day, including antique toilets and state-of-the-art purification systems.The pictures of old plumbing and tools for sanitation are interesting.”

There is a special section for education. We visited the whole museum, as much as we could in a day.

Here are some pictures that show a little of the interactive resources of the museum for children.ImageImage

This is an interactive map. The students locate areas of the Bay of Finland , the countries.



There are many colorful interaction stations where children use the technology to learn, playing a game, or searching for information.



The museum specializes in the study of water with emphasis on the gulf of Finland.



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