US and Russian teammates of the STEM project winning teams and their teachers met face-to-face in San Francisco and spent unforgettable days exploring centres of technology and innovations in the Silicon Valley.  This experience offered students an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the importance of STEM competencies for their future successful careers.  Members of the winning teams share impressions of visiting San Francisco and Silicon Valley and meeting their peers.

The 13th of June. The first place where we went to was the  world-famous Intel museum. It is situated in Silicon Valley. It is a calm and cozy place and is not overcrowded as all big cities are. More than that, I was very pleased to meet the American students who had been working with us on the STEM project. The next point of our first-day trip was SAP company. We were listening to the lecture of the regional director Viktor Taratukhin. We found out how the working process of the famous company is organized.

I got to know a lot of information about the modern trends in the sphere of graphic design. After the lecture we visited Stanford University. It is one of the best universities of the world. There was an open day and the students were demonstrating their scientific projects in the sphere of digital technologies. Friendly people and the working environment impressed me the most. The themes of the students’ projects were interesting and the way they presented the projects was excellent.

The 14th of June. The second day was started with the trip to the interactive museum called Exploratorium. There we saw a lot of exhibitions and we had an opportunity to set different physical, chemical and biological experiments. It was so exciting that I lost track of time. I wanted to spend the whole day in this museum. I learned out a lot about physics and chemistry and I found answers to various questions. After that, we went to Fisherman’s Wharf. The atmosphere of this place is wonderful. We bought souvenirs. Then, we went to Pier 39. There we were watching seals. This day was very interesting and bright.

The 15th of June. In the morning we visited Sales Forces company. Firstly, we listened to the lecture about the company. We got to know a lot about the process of running business. I pointed out many important things which will certainly help me in my future career. After the lecture, we went upstairs and admired the panoramic view of the city. We  took a lot of photographs. The evening was devoted to the long walks around San Francisco. There were thousands of lights which were making the city beautiful.

The 16th of June. We went for a walk for the whole day. San Francisco is a very bright and picturesque city. The architecture of San Francisco is diverse. One district differs from any other. Every corner and every district are unique. We also visited famous Cheesecake Factory. A lot of tasty and beautiful desserts are baked there. We saw the main sight of San Francisco the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a spectacular construction. I enjoyed the view of the city from that place. This day introduced us the unique culture of San-Francisco.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Junior Achievement  and Global Initiatives for the  opportunity to take part in the project which helped develop our creativity and different skills and to visit such a wonderful city as San Francisco!
Ebert Sofya

The 1st day. We are in San Francisco! The first place which we visited was the Intel Museum. It is situated in Silicon Valley. The second place which we discovered was the head office of SAP company. We listened to a lecture of Viktor, a regional director of the company.  Viktor told us about the company and the modern trends in the graphic design sphere. He also demonstrated us a lot of 3D-printed things and various constructors. After that we went to Stanford University. I was charmed by the pleasant atmosphere there. We were lucky to visit an exhibition of scientific projects. Many innovative ideas of Stanford students were introduced there. After such a great trip we were invited to the wonderful dinner where we were granted with certificates. This day impressed me greatly and gave me a lot of positive emotions which I will never forget.

The2nd day. It was planned to visit Exploratorium on the second day. Exploratorium is an interactive scientific museum. There is a gaming room, an art studio and some laboratories for experiments. This is a wonderful place where you can see a lot of different devices. It is really thought provoking!The rest of the day was spent on visiting Fisherman’s wharf. There we were watching the beauty of the ocean. This area looked like a small town in a big city filled with lots of shops and entertainment zones for tourists.

The 3rd day.The next day started with a visit to Salesforce company. This organization is the developer of the  special CRM-system. We listened to the lecture and then we had an excursion around the office of the company. we enjoyed a stunning view of San Francisco. There was a lot of greenery in the building so everybody could feel as if he were in the forest. In the evening we decided to go for a walk and admire the beauty of San Francisco.

The 4th and 5th days.The last two days in San Francisco were devoted to visiting the main sightsof the city. We rode a Hop On Hop Off bus and the guide told us a lot of information about the history of the city. We visited the China town and of course the Golden Gate Bridge. There is an amazing view of the city from it. We took a lot of photos which will keep our memories about this wonderful trip.
I would like to thank Junior Achievement  and Global Initiatives for the great opportunity to visit another continent and to get a lot of unforgettable emotions. This project helped me to understand the importance of science and that science is a universal language for all people whenever they live.
Abdulkarimova Amina

The 13th of June. It was a wonderful day! Our group visited some great legendary places which are situated in Silicon Valley. Firstly, we had an opportunity to see the head office of SAP well-known as an organization which specializes in the B2B sector. We were pleased to listen to the lecture about the activities of the company. I liked a comfortable working space of the company a lot.Then we went to Stanford University. By the way, Stanford is known for its academic strength, and ranking as one of the world's top-ten universities. We got acquainted with Stanford students and their innovative projects in the sphere of digital technologies. The day was really busy and very interesting. I am sure that everything I got to know I will definitely use in the future. More than that, we met our American partners. They are good guys!

The 14th of June.We went to Exploratorium. It is a famous interactive scientific museum. There we watched various physical and biological phenomena. I really enjoyed the room with the light experiments. This is what I am interested in! We had a chance not only to watch but to set experiments. After the museum we decided to go for a walk in Fisherman’s wharf, visited souvenir shops and watched the California seals which were lying on the special platform. This is a unique city!

The 15th of June.That was a day of a visit to Salesforce office. This company offers their customers CRM-platform in SaaS format. They introduced us the characteristics of such systems. I liked the corporative style of the company. It seemed that everything was imbued by this style as all the presentations, booklets and even the walls in the office were made in this style. The staff were friendly, they answered all the questions and explained how to apply for a job in their company. We got souvenirs and took some photos of San Francisco as there is a wonderful view of this city from the office. This excursion helped me understand the importance of CRM-servers for business. I was also impressed by the friendly atmosphere in the company.

The 16th and 17th of June.These two days gave us an opportunity to see San Francisco entirely. We decided to take a famous Hop-On Hop-Off bus and we did not regret about it. We started from Union Square, the very center of the city. We rode through China-town, Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf. We visited the places where a lot of celebrities lived. However, the most memorable one is the Golden Gate Bridge. Our bus drove over this bridge. This bridge is a grandiose construction! I will always remember this day.

This trip was not only the formal ending of the STEM project but it turned out to be the beginning of my  understanding of the importance of awareness in modern trends in different technologies. I realized that there are both differences and similarities between our cultures. I would like to thank Junior Achievement  and Global Initiatives for such a great trip and interesting project.
Zhelezov Mikhail

After a long flight we were tired but everything around us was so impressive that we could not even think about sleep. My first impression is that SF is very cozy. It is tolerant. Our hotel has its special style with the elements of gentility.Hospitality is everywhere. We went to bed foretasting the next days.

After visiting Intel, we went to  SAP company. It is the developer of software for different companies. The workers greeted us and conducted a very interesting excursion around their office. We were told about the company? its structure and the way they think and create their products. the environment in the company is specially made for people's creativity and comfort. But everything is ahead…Our bus stopped near one of the ten  most famous universities in the world! Stanford is an incredible place. Everybody should visit this place if he is in the US. All the areas near the university impress with their beauty and size. We were demonstrated the scientific projects of Stanford alumnus. I liked their ideas and the way they spoke about their work. All the emotions and impressions will be kept for a long time.

I was impressed by the Exploratorium! We watched, tasted, touched, took part in different experiments. It is great when science is not something distant but is a part of life and experience.

Sales Force company greeted us with friendly smiles and tasty breakfast. If only each company could meet their guests with such hospitality! With great pleasure I got to know that it is one of the strongest companies in the sphere of platform software. It is one of the most required among business. They manage to create necessary tools and take care of their staff.

On the next day we went to the seaport. There were a lot of cafés and shops. I plunged into the atmosphere of San Francisco life. Local people are friendly. They can easily come and talk to strangers. But the most impressive thing was that it was possible to see Alcatraz from the seaport. AThen we decided to watch the sights of San

Francisco. We used a special sightseeing bus and rode over the Golden Gate Bridge. From the observation platform we could see beautiful and breathtaking views of San Francisco, the ocean and picturesque mountains.

I want to thank every person who was involved in the project and Junior Achievement and Global Initiatives for the great opportunity to visit the USA. I got a lot of impressions. I will definitely come back…
Vaselina Denisova

The 13th of June. It was an amazing day. In the morning we met the American students in person. We had been working with them on the project. Then we went to the Intel Museum, located in Silicon Valley. It was a pleasure to be there. After that, we were honored to visit the office of SAP, where we listened to a fascinating lecture , which was given to us by the regional director Victor Taratukhin. I  learnt a lot about software development.  Most memorable were the solutions offered for the Blockchain system. Also we managed to see the company's work from the inside. After that, we visited the famous Stanford University, there we saw the research work of students, many of them were very interesting and promising, they were connected with the newfangled trends in software development. The day was full of vivid emotions. I  got much knowledge in the field of physics and computer science, which  will definitely be useful to me in the future!

The 14th of June. We visited the interactive scientific museum "Exploratorium". There we had an opportunity to see many different phenomena through scientific experiments. The most memorable were the experiments connected with the world of physics. Then we went to Fishermen's wharf. We  visited the local port, saw the famous prison Alcatraz, bought souvenirs in  souvenir shops. During our walk, I discovered the original and vivid life and culture of this previously unfamiliar country. I'm charmed by my new impressions.

The 15th of June. Today our team visited the headquarters of Salesforce, which is developing a CRM-system, provided to customers only as software as a service. We were greeted with an informative presentation, vividly told by two representatives of the company. It included a couple of professionally made videos, one of which explained that such a prominent and popular company like Adidas also uses Salesforce services while running business. I was impressed by  the company's and its employees level of responsibility. The company firmly maintained its position in the world market and every year only strengthens its position, which may indicate the professionalism of the company in the field of creating CRM-systems and it proves the huge trust of companies and enterprises using this service. I was particularly impressed by the fact that since 2017 Salesforce has launched a new function related to AI technologies, which greatly facilitates the use of the system. I was also interested to learn that any person, a professional in his field, could become a part of such a huge and influential company, and that his or her opinion will certainly be taken into account while developing a new concept, because this is one of the company's rules.

The 16 th and 17th of June. During these two days we  travelled to popular tourist places, imbuing with local culture, people and customs. We used the hop-on hop-off tourist bus service, which is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the city. The bus departed from the stop at Union Square, which is the main entertainment and commercial center of San Francisco. We visited Chinatown, which perfectly reflects the multicultural nature of the country and proves the theory of equality of all people. We drove past the Fisherman's Wharf and Pierce 39- very bright, living and crowded places. It was very pleasant to observe the warm smiles of the residents and tourists, their cheerful conversations and bright, true emotions. After that, we went, perhaps, to the most important sight of the San Francisco-Golden Gate Bridge. Our bus drove along it, and we were able to enjoy the beauty of this wonderful building from the closest perspective. I was amazed that this bridge is quite long comparatively to the suspension bridges, and it remains the main connecting artery between the city of San Francisco and the northern part of the peninsula of San Francisco. I got a lot of pleasant and positive emotions!

In conclusion I would like to thank Junior Achievement and Global Initiatives, all people who met us and shown their companies, the teachers and the students involved in the project. I'm very grateful for such a wonderful opportunity to have a look at Sience, the way it is seen in another country and to visit San Francisco!
Anastasiia Sogina

Day 1 Here comes the first day of our trip in the United States! We live in a beautiful hotel, which is almost in the heart of the city. On the first day we  scheduled the trip to Silicon Valley, where there are the offices of the most well-known and famous companies in the world. The first destination was the Intel Museum. On the way to the Museum we met the American students with whom we had been working on the project for so long. After the Museum we went to the office of SAP company. Our guide around the office was Viktor, who has been working in the company SAP over 13 years and is a regional director of the company. He began our tour with the presentation in which showed the development of  SAP as well as described in which spheres the company specializes. We  learned that, first of all, SAP - is a German company, which manufactures software for different organizations. Then were shown the environment. The staff  wear informal dress style, which allows them to work comfortably. On the walls in working offices each can write down a sudden idea. After SAP, we went to the University of Stanford. We were wandering through a cozy campus and enjoyed the architecture of the buildings. At the end we went to the exhibition of projects of the students of University, where talked with creative students and listened to their ideas.

Day 2 The second day of the trip was not less exciting than the first one. On this day we got acquainted with the city closer.  We visited the Exploratorium. On the way there we could observe the life of the city and its people. I strongly hit contrast of skyscrapers and low houses. Everything was preconditioned in purely American style, created the impression that we were in the old American film. Exploratorium is an interactive Museum, where visitors are given the opportunity to plunge into the world of science and touch exhibits and set the experiments. Then we went to the famous Pier 39. We enjoyed a beautiful view of the Ocean and a special atmosphere of the place. We also saw sea lions, which had chosen a place on the Pier as their home place. We managed to dine right on the Pier, where we could taste fresh seafood. It was a wonderful day.

Day 3 On this day we visited the headquarters of the company Salesforce, engaged in the development of all the necessary things for software of large companies. First we saw the presentation about US Salesforce,  how the company developed, its history and the way of success. There were videos and clips of the company and its partners, as well as clients'. For example such company as Adidas is a constant client of Salesforce. Every year the company is growing and more confidently bypasses their competitors in the market. For example Salesforce has made a big lead from such companies as Microsoft and SAP. In addition, the company actively introduces new technologies, for example AI, which is strongly simplified the work of the company. Also the company trusts not only its  staff but the customers as well. Each professional can become a part of this company, knowing that his efforts will be appreciated  and his opinion will be taken into consideration.

Day 4-5 During these 2 days we were able to get to know the city. We visited the main tourist attractions and enjoyed sights of the city. We managed to take advantage of the services of tourist bus hop-on hop-off, which daily makes route to the most interesting places of San Francisco. the Bus started at Union square, the main tourist and trade area of the city. Then we found ourselves in China-town. I immediately hit the fact that inside the metropolis as San Francisco there can be a small quarter with its own history, culture and locals. We drove past Fishing village and the Pier 39, where as usually you can watch happy tourists and local residents, as well as can hear the sea Lions. Then we went on perhaps the main point of interest in San Francisco, Golden gate bridge. Our bus passed on the bridge and we were on the other side of the Peninsula,from which  a beautiful view of the entire city and the Ocean opened. Then we visited the most luxurious quarters of the city, where private houses and cottages reminiscent of the life of the American films. I liked this day and will never forget it!
All in all I'm very grateful for such an opportunity to visit another country, to compare, to analize, to conclude that we are different, but we have much in common, so we are able to work and solve problems together.
Stepan Ryabenko

On the first day of our trip to San Francisco we met our American partners. It was great to meet them!. We were talking about different themes. Then we went to Silicon Valley and visited the Intel museum. After that we visited the head office of SAP. We were surprised by the fact that it is allowed for the staff not to wear business style clothes. Our guide Viktor Taratukhin told us about the company and the tendencies in computer sphere. He showed us the working space, it is very comfortable and informal. Then we headed to Stanford University where we could not help admiring the wonderful views and the University's special atmosphere. Moreover, we visited an exhibition where a lot of students were presenting their projects connected with crucial issues. They are urgent for the US and for the rest of the world as well.

The first point of the next day was visiting Exploratorium museum. I cannot but mention that this museum is famous all over the world. I really have seen a lot of articles about this museum. We took part in different experiments connected with physics, chemistry and biology. Then we departed to Pier 39. It is one of the tourists attractions. It is also the habitat of sea lions and seagulls. The weather was brilliant, and we spent a lot of time there.

The third day started with visiting Salesforce headquarters. This company manages all the business processes. Some of them are analytics, marketing, sales etc. The staff were kind and showed us a bright presentation which included videoclips telling about the different brands which cooperate with Salesforce. The company succeeds using the modern and useful technologies. The company started using artificial intelligence a year ago. After that we had a tour in the Salesforce offices. We watched a wonderful view of the city. If some day I will run my own company, I'll no doubt use their experience how to take care of and to motivate the staff, to cooperate with the customers and to be always up to date.

On the 16th and 17th of June we visited a lot of sights and popular tourist places of San Francisco. We were glad to use a sightseeing bus. We visited China-town. The people, the architecture and the atmosphere, everything is Chinese! We saw the Golden Gate Bridge.  To tell the truth, watching the photos of the sight and visiting it in life are two different things. We were at the observation platform and took a lot of photos of San Francisco and the Golden Gate. We  also visited Union Square and Pier 39.

All in all, San Francisco impressed me very much. I am in love with this city, with its skyscrapers, culture and people! I hope I will come back to San Francisco!
I’d like to express my gratitude to Junior Achievement, Global Initiatives and all the people who made this trip not only educational but very emotional and pleasant as well. It was wonderful!
Anastasia Shakhnovich