Hanna was born in Ukraine to a family of doctors, and everyone thought she would be a doctor too. However, she was inspired by her English teacher at school to teach English as a foreign language. Experience of the American educational system as an exchange student convinced Hanna that the Ukrainian system needed some new ideas. She imported project-based learning and student-centred methods, and has spent her years as a teacher pioneering these in Ukraine, using up-to-date technology such as tablets, smartphones and Google Class pages.
She has also had success in establishing partnerships with schools in other countries. She is the vice-principal of STEM integration and educational innovation at her school, and she has been the school coordinator of the Connecting Classrooms and eTwinning programmes; a Microsoft Expert Educator; and a PenPal Schools Global Ambassador. Some of the school’s projects have been recognized on an international level: winning a Macmillan competition, a British Council Olympic Games competition, and coming second in a Microsoft Global Forum project. She has received awards from the American Council, the British Council, and Teacher of the Year on a city level in Ukraine.
With the prize funds, Hanna would set up a pilot programme of portable STEAM laboratories, equipped with basic instruments and materials for scientific experiments. The lab would travel from place to place bringing new educational technology to every classroom, no matter how far from a city it is.