Although science and technology are the foundation of the progress of modern society, the weakening of interest in science among children and young people is present at the national and EU level. Looking at the results of the OECD PISA survey from 2018, Croatian high school students show a weakening of interest in enrolling in STEM studies, insufficient dissemination of scientific thinking and below-average results in mathematics and science literacy.
Strategic documents are being adopted at the EU and national level in order to change the approach to science in the public, precisely by popularizing it among all groups in society. The Europe 2020 strategy states that smart growth by developing a knowledge- and innovation-based economy is one of its priorities. OPUL 2014 -2020 emphasizes the importance of education and lifelong learning. Na nac. level, the Science and Society Action Plan (2012) lists science. and technological knowledge, which should include the basic knowledge and skills of citizens. The Strategy for Education, Science and Technology (2014) states that the Republic of Croatia recognizes education and science as priorities that can bring social stability and economic progress, primarily because it is facing dynamic changes in society and challenges of new technologies and environmental protection. can be successfully solved with the help of science. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in the education of all age groups, starting from childhood, that is, to focus on lifelong learning. In order for the state to function effectively, the intertwining of lifelong learning, science and innovation, which together form a "knowledge triangle", is emphasized. The Strategy (2014) emphasizes STEM skills for which an increasing need is expected in the future, ie skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and these are the areas for which interest is increasingly weak. Also, work on curricular reform will contribute to strengthening the application of scientific methods and conclusions based on scientific facts.
In order to popularize the STEM area, CSOs operating or wishing to develop in these areas can play a major role in this, among other things because they provide the public with different approaches to the STEM area from the education system, which is also recognized by OPULJP 2014. - 2020. In order for CSOs to strengthen their capacity to promote STEM, they need to cooperate with each other, but also with (higher) education and other institutions, in order to influence the quality and scientific basis of the content they provide. The importance and strengthening of the capacity of CSOs is recognized in the Draft National Plan for Creating a Stimulating Environment for the Development of Civil Society 2020-2026.
The aim of this project is to improve the capacity of civil society organizations and their cooperation at the national level in order to implement innovative programs in the field of popularization of STEM areas.
The target group of the project are 5 CSOs that will improve their capacities, ie 18 employees and CSO members who will transfer knowledge and experience to 20 volunteers, while the end users are: children and youth (min. 60, through active participation in workshops) and the general population of the Republic of Croatia (min. 10,000 persons, through participation in public events and obtaining information about the project).
Improving the capacity of CSOs and implementing activities will cover all four STEM areas, with an emphasis on bringing the STEM area closer to children, youth and the general population as a tool for creating innovation and contributing to environmental protection. For this purpose, permanent exhibitions of various devices for extruding, grinding plastic and designing useful plastic objects will be created, which will also serve in the implementation of multi-day workshops for children and youth and as mobile devices in the implementation of 50 one-day events throughout Croatia, but also STEM promotion areas at the national level.
As this project, in addition to the STEM area, also deals with the contribution to environmental protection, we note that the same is recognized in the Strategy of Education, Science and Technology (2014), ie that education and science can contribute to improving environmental protection. Equally, the project contributes to the objectives of the European Green Plan.
Therefore, with this project we are focusing on everything mentioned from several nac. and EU strategic documents: a) education - implementation of interactive workshops and practical work involving all areas of STEM; b) lifelong learning - workshops and practical work are intended for CSO members to strengthen them, but also for children, young people and the general population to improve their knowledge of the STEM area; c) science - application of scientific methods and popularization of STEM through activities; d) application of modern technologies - for the purpose of getting acquainted with STEM and the use of devices for making useful objects; e) environmental protection - a topic that runs through all project activities and includes the involvement of participants in collecting plastics and f) innovation - encouraging participants to express themselves creatively when designing and creating useful objects.
The sustainability of the project, after the completion of its funding, will be achieved on several levels:
The acquired knowledge and experience of working with modern technology, as well as the experience of conducting workshops to promote STEM, all civil society organizations that participated in the project will continue to use for free workshops in the areas where they operate in their local communities, with kits devices that will be purchased during the project implementation and will remain for use by each of the organizations. CSOs will be tasked with presenting the devices and enabling their use by primary and secondary school students operating in their local communities. The Institute of Entrepreneurial Education and Innovation will continue to improve the workshops and encourage further cooperation of all partners in this project, and the project will be promoted by lending mobile sets of devices to schools throughout the Republic of Croatia. The objects created during the workshops, as well as the video from the camp will serve to promote the project and demonstrations of each of the CSOs at the national and international level. After the completion of the project, it is planned to cooperate with another min. 5 CSOs and 5 local communities in the Republic of Croatia.
In order to continue conducting free workshops, CSOs will remain in possession of the devices purchased in this project. CSOs will commit to collecting plastics and encouraging their members, schools and local communities to do the same. We try to provide consumables for the workshops with our own funds and by applying for smaller tenders / donations / sponsorships to local authorities. IPOI will undertake the obligation to lend a mobile set of devices for grinding and extruding plastic to interested local communities and schools throughout the Republic of Croatia, as well as to hold education on the use of devices. Delivery will be provided by a van, the maintenance and registration of which will be financed by IPOI from own funds, while fuel costs will be covered, according to possibilities, from several sources: funds of local communities to lend a mobile device, donor funds / future approved tenders and the association's own resources.
C. Public Policies level
In order to influence the creation of future public policies at the national level, policy makers will be: a. Provided with the results of this project and the recommendations made by the project consortium during implementation; b. express an interest in participating in national working groups; c. the results of this project will be disseminated at the EU level by participating in foreign fairs and conferences; d. results and experiences will be shared internationally.
Workshops to be conducted by CSOs after the end of funding for this project will be, as during the project, aimed at informing participants about environmental care and encouraging the collection of plastics to be used during workshops for making useful objects (example). In this way, we want to influence several components of sustainable development in the long run: environmental, social and economic.
SUSTAINABILITY AFTER END OF THE PROJECT
WHO ARE WE?
The Carpe Diem Association was founded with the aim of improving the quality of life, and encouraging and developing the creative and social potential of children, young people and adults.
The OTOK Association is an association for the promotion of creative and healthy life, an association of citizens of various professions who, using various knowledge and skills, creatively contribute to and develop initiatives to increase the quality of life on the island of Prvić in accordance with nature and sustainable development.
Association for Creative Social Work (UKSR) - the association provides professional assistance and support to users in need, developing cooperation and partnerships with other stakeholders in society.
Nikola Tesla Technical Museum - the museum is designed as a combination of a science center and a classic complex museum of technology. In addition to the basic content of the classical museum with exhibits of original exhibits in the field of technology and technology, the museum acts as an educational center for teaching a better understanding of natural sciences and technology.
Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb - is a faculty where the system of flexible and mobile study enables the achievement of the widest range of skills in the field of architectural education, synthesis of educational, scientific research and professional work, both for students and teaching staff.
FabLab, an association for the promotion of digital fabrication - is an association with many years of experience in educating young people and changing the way of thinking about entrepreneurship for social and economic benefits and involving local communities in the implementation of activities in this area..
The Institute of Entrepreneurship Education and Innovation (POI Institute) is the project leader. The association was founded in 2019 with the idea of developing the entrepreneurial skills of young social innovators in the open and digital world.
FROM MOBILCE CENTER TO PERMANENT EXHIBITS
The BIOPLAnet project envisages a number of activities such as one-day or multi-day workshops in primary and secondary schools throughout the Republic of Croatia, but also visits to national and international fairs to support the efforts of colleagues working in similar fields of interest and gain additional experience in presenting and maintaining such events and provoking new ideas hidden within us.
The project envisages the following:
Implementation of a number of seminars and trainings in the popularization of STEM, which leads to strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations in this area
Internal meetings regarding the implementation of the presentation of the installation of devices in the partner's premises or in agreement with them, appropriate locations and, accordingly, the installation of interactive sets while holding the presentation
Conducting multi-day workshops and a multi-day camp with one of the partner organizations
Implementation of one-day events for the purpose of implementing innovative programs in the field of STEM popularization
All of the above is accompanied by visual exposure. Through the website, the public was informed about the individual phases of the project, both with announcements for future events and with brief descriptions of what was done.
SINGLE DAY EVENTS