The success of each Young Explorer Club depends to the largest extent on their Supervisors, on their willingness to do something new, to create development opportunities for children and young people as well as a safe space for experimenting, learning and developing their social skills and gaining new competencies.
Supervisors make up a very varied group; among them there are not only science teachers but also mathematicians, humanists, active parents, librarians and community centre workers, and even nuns or priests. What they all have in common is the openness, enthusiasm as well as the readiness to traverse the unchartered areas of knowledge and reality. Such consent to experimenting requires a great deal of courage; sooner or later, they will have to face the necessity of answering club members’ question by saying, ‘I don’t know but let’s try to consider this together, why it is so, and let’s experiment’. As we all know well, not all adults find it easy to make such a statement…
There are many work models that Supervisors utilise in their daily work. Some share their passion with Club members; they would conduct their astronomical observations together or organise trips to a forest or a meadow to watch birds. Other almost become ordinary Club members; they make efforts to turn their deficits of theoretical science knowledge into an asset and become one of the young, at least in spirit, explorers searching for answers with other club members.
The role of club Supervisor often exceeds that great challenge of creating a comfortable space for the club members so that they might experiment and explore the world on their own as much as possible.
Progressing from simple experiments to more complex observations, tests or projects, they become, together with their club, an important element in the life of their local communities. They organise Young Explorer Club Festivals, nights of experiments, shows your younger children, parents or grandparents. The idea, however, is not for the Supervisor to be lone pioneer of the 21st century, a person who changes their environment alone. The idea is to include all who are interested into the club activity, i.e. other teachers, parents, your own bosses and parents, or representatives of the local authorities, even if they are still unaware of how much good they can do this way and what value is involved in the existence of the club in their surroundings.
Such a process of transforming the local community, be it school or a whole town, commencing with experiments that seem simple at first sight, can be a fascinating adventure as well as a chance for personal development, also for the Supervisor. At the same time, it also becomes a source of great satisfaction from observing the incredible development of the club members and also from the awareness that thanks to the participation in the great family of Young Explorer Clubs we are changing Polish education and shaping new generation of active, critically thinking and well-educated people.