The Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (JASU) provides organizational support for school children throughout Ukraine to grow in their understanding of scientific principles, and to encourage their intellectual, spiritual, creative and vocational development.

On October 3rd, 2020, JASU was overjoyed to open their new Science Museum for the children of Ukraine in Kyiv.

Director Oksen Lisovy, of the Junior Academy of Science of Ukraine, opens the new children’s Science Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine.

For more than a year, renovations were underway converting a Soviet era building at the VDNKh Exposition center into a modern children’s science museum.

With exhibits chosen from all over the world, QuietPixel was honored to be chosen to provide our HoloSands augmented reality sandbox for their environmental sciences area.

We worked closely with Dr. Vasyl Dunets, the museum Project Coordinator, to design a sandbox to their requirements, and to create a custom biome for Ukraine. The biome captures one of the unique features of Ukraine, that it is lush and moist in the north-western half of the country, but dries out as you move to the south-east.

To portray this, we show dense forests and green farmlands on the “west” end of the sandbox, and transition slowly to drier steppe terrain with irrigation circles on the other. An ocean layer to the “south”, and the sounds of birds and animals native to Ukraine complete the biome.

Two days before QuietPixel staff were supposed to fly to Ukraine to install the sandbox, Covid forced Ukraine to close its borders for a second time to foreign travelers.  We scrambled to figure out how to install the exhibit from half way around the world. 

We put together a series of very detailed step by step videos explaining how to unpack the exhibit, how to set up all the pieces, and the process of installing all the electronics.  It took a few Zoom calls to work through some bumps, but the staff of the museum did an amazing job setting up the exhibit.  They finished it just a few weeks before their huge opening day!

On opening day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was their honored guest, and the first visitor to see our HoloSands exhibit.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine views our HoloSands exhibit in Kyiv
First Lady of Ukraine Elena Zelenskyy, and First Lady of Poland Agata Kornhauser-Duda examine our HoloSands sandbox.

Unfortunately, Covid was not the only challenge the JASU museum has faced.  The museum had to close its doors when the Russian army invaded in 2022.  This was done for the safety of the children who might be gathered in the museum if missiles hit the city.

JASU continues its mission of helping the children of Ukraine, but much of its work now is with families displaced to other parts of the country.  They look forward to the day it is safe to reopen the museum and peace can be enjoyed again.