Skip to Main Navigation
FEATURE STORYMarch 25, 2024

Bright Minds, Brighter Futures: Inspiring A Generation of Scientists and Innovators in Georgia


Giorgi, an eighth grader, in his school’s library. 

Photo: Maia Duishvili


  • A World Bank-supported project is helping improve students’ learning outcomes and inspiring a new generation of scientists and innovators in Georgia
  • Nearly 200 schools across the country have new facilities and extracurricular programs geared towards robotics, computer programming, engineering, and other STEAM fields
  • This same project is also helping build and rehabilitate schools across Georgia so buildings and classrooms are modern, energy efficient, and conducive to learning for all students

Born and raised in Dvani village in Georgia’s Shida Kartli Region, 13-year-old Giorgi aspires to become a programmer or electrical engineer.

Dvani Public School, which was destroyed during the conflict with Russia in 2008, is now rebuilt, offering Giorgi and his peers new learning opportunities.

Thanks to the World Bank-supported Georgia Innovation, Inclusion and Quality (I2Q) Project, Dvani’s school has new state-of-the-art science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) lab equipment and kits, opening up avenues for Giorgi and other students to explore the world of programming and robotics. “Since childhood, I’ve dreamed about developing a video game. While playing, seeing the little guys jumping around on screen was amazing, and I wanted to know how it’s done. I’m excited to start learning programming to be able to do that,” Giorgi emphasizes.

The eighth grader’s interest is not limited to software. Giorgi is equally intrigued by the hardware of everyday life, like the streetlights illuminating his community.

“As for electrical engineering, I’ve just learned how the streetlamps work. In some parts of the village, where they are not installed, I want to help my neighbors install them and help with the electrical wiring.”

Promoting STEAM for a Technology-Driven World

Launched in 2019, I2Q—a $102.7 million initiative implemented by the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of Georgia as well as the Municipal Development Fund—aims to enhance preschool access, improve educational quality and relevance, and create learning environments that foster growth at all levels.

In meeting those objectives, I2Q is equipping 200 target public schools like Giorgi’s with STEAM educational resources, technologies, and toolkits. The inclusion of a STEAM program covering coding, robotics, green energy, and more reflects a comprehensive approach to education that goes beyond traditional teaching methods and fosters critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.

The pilot phase of this initiative has already seen 80 schools benefitting from these resources, with plans to equip another 120 schools by the upcoming academic year. Moreover, the I2Q Project recognizes that investing in STEAM education is not just about providing tools, but also improving overall learning outcomes and enhancing employability. By nurturing a culture of innovation and technological literacy, the project contributes to building a well-trained and agile workforce capable of driving growth in Georgia.

The project puts a special emphasis on girls’ exploration of STEAM to educate, encourage, and empower their involvement in our tech-driven global economy.  Early exposure to quality STEAM education, targeted awareness raising activities and gender-sensitive pedagogy aim to boost girls’ potential and influence their career choices to shrink the existing gender gap in innovation and technology.

STEAM Program students at Tbilisi's Public School No. 126 show off their design to World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus Rolande Pryce, Feb.2, 2024. Photo: I2Q Project PIU

Building Tomorrow's Classrooms: Rehabilitating Schools for the Future

If schools and classrooms are not accessible, comfortable, and safe, they are not conducive to learning. Rehabilitating older schools, like Public School No. 1 in the town of Kareli in the Shida Kartli Region, is another crucial aspect of I2Q’s efforts across Georgia.

The ongoing rehabilitation works at Kareli Public School No.1. Photo: Maia Duishvili

Principal Mariam Sazandrishvili, who is an alumna herself of Kareli’s school and now teaches Georgian Language and Literature there, is grateful for the ongoing work that is bringing facilities up to international standards and prioritizes inclusiveness and safety features for students with mobility impairments.  

“Our school had numerous problems before. For example, we didn’t have science labs, which hindered the in-depth teaching of physics, chemistry, and biology. I have very high expectations about building all these labs at school, so that our students will become more interested in these subjects,” she says. “In addition, we currently have 14 students with special needs, and the rehabilitation will make the school environment fully inclusive and more welcoming for them.”

Tamar Makhatadze, principal of Public School No. 2 in the town of Khashuri, reflects on similar issues for her facilities, which enrolls roughly 400 students.. “The school indeed required rehabilitation. I can’t thank this project enough for renovating the school to make it modern, more inclusive and energy efficient. We hope to start the new academic year in a markedly improved environment where students can achieve their full potential.”

By 2026, I2Q will have rehabilitated and constructed 50 schools across Georgia, with designs addressing climate change vulnerability and building resilience against disasters and climate impacts.

Through I2Q and with the World Bank’s assistance, students like Giorgi and school personnel like Mariam and Tamar throughout Georgia will enjoy safer and more inclusive educational facilities, ensuring a brighter future for all.

Construction manager at Khashuri Public School No. 2 displaying before and after photos. Photo: Tiko Zurabishvili


    loader image


    loader image