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Robots and telescopes create STEM enthusiasm in Croatia

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Being one of the founding members of the German STEM-association “MINT Zukunft schaffen”, Deutsche Telekom is since 2008 actively involved in improving the education of STEM subjects in Germany. But STEM is not only a big topic in Germany. Supporters and networks aiming to improve education and in particular fostering the STEM subjects can be found all across the world. And even within the Deutsche Telekom Group the activities does not stop in Germany.

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Hrvatski Telekom has recognised the importance of investment in the popularisation of science amongst younger generations, too. They made donations to two STEM projects in the area of New Technologies and Science under the umbrella of the Croatian donation competition "Together We Are Stronger" (Zajedno smo jači). Aiming to enhance the quality of education in elementary schools in the area of science, technology, engineering and mathematics each of the projects was granted HRK 350,000 (in total nearly EUR 100,000) in order to introduce children to the world of science. On top of that HT employees will participate in the projects using their expertise and experience.

The project entitled “Internet of Things in Croatian Elementary Schools in 2016” is held by is the Institute for Youth Development and Innovation. It contributes to the development of pupil and teacher potential in the area of robotics through Croatian Makers robotics game. On this occasion the youngest generations will be taught advanced concepts of automation and develop their IT skills in a practical, entertaining, and comprehensive way. The project is expected to bring together around fifty schools and almost 750 pupils during its first phase.

The second project Hrvatski Telekom donated to is “Campus” by the Astronomical Society Višnjan. It includes a system of workshops (schools and camps) intended both for elementary and secondary school students. Camp attendees will be provided the opportunity to participate in diverse STEM-related activities. Due to the donation workshops will involve around 450 children, which tripled the number of the children involved thus far. The Astronomical Society and one of the most productive observatories in the world have developed the project within Science and Education Centre Višnjan, whilst Višnjan Observatory is planning to spend the funding donated for the purchase of equipment required for the interdisciplinary Laboratory for Biology, Chemistry and Astrobiology (LABOS) integrated in the camp.

“We are welcoming this initiative by Hrvatski Telekom concerning the donation exclusively to projects in the area of science and new technologies, which will certainly contribute to the popularisation of natural science, technology, engineering, and mathematics amongst the youngest generations. The need for employment of educated STEM experts is continuously on the increase, and it is hence fundamental to encourage children from the earliest age to education in these areas, albeit in using entertaining and practical methods which has been advocated through these projects,” pointed out Ignac Lovrek, Professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing and a member of the expert panel of “Together we are strong”.

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