About Summer Science Factory
We aim to address the situation above by positively impacting:
- Creating a positive attitude toward science.
- Developing critical thinking through experimentation, learning, and play.
- Encouraging choosing a career in science.
- Giving mentors an opportunity to develop their project and team leading skills.
- Establishing connections between mentors, sharing their research and teaching experiences, building a network of young educators of tomorrow.
The principal idea of SSF workshops is to investigate the world from its elementary elements to complex phenomena by posing hypotheses that are tested through play, thinking, and experiments developed by students with the help of mentors.
The hands-on approach of SSF workshops stimulates the development of students’ intellectual potential and critical thinking, but also entices curiosity and provides an understanding of the importance of teamwork and communication. These workshops provide students with an opportunity to meet and work with real scientists, experiencing the scientific method by becoming a scientist for one week.
Workshops are small scientific or engineering projects that students work on for six days, ending with a science fair presentation on the seventh day. Workshops topics cover disciplines such as mathematics, physics, biology, psychology, and are often interdisciplinary. To ensure a great student experience, group sizes are typically limited to 7 students
Mentoring the Mentors
Workshops are proposed and developed by mentors which are typically university students, but also include scientists and teachers. Mentors propose their workshops in an open call for proposals, and further develop them after acceptance into the program. Before teaching students, we train our mentors in modern teaching methods and science communication.
This program is effectively building a network of science educators using modern teaching methods to make an impact on new generations.
This year we are resorting to crowdfunding ---LINK HERE---
To keep the Summer Science Factory alive we need to raise €20 000. We've received -- the amount already received -- with the support of local government and sponsor companies. But we are in still in serious need of financial help. We are kindly asking anyone who can to make donations in order to continue working with children and mentors to create a future that will be fun, scientific and productive. Keep in mind that in your country a donation may be tax deductible! Thank you so much from all of us here at SSF.
Costs include accommodation, transport, and food for mentors and support team, workshop equipment and materials, lunch for students, promotional and other organizational costs. One third of the cost is covered from students’ registration fee (55 EUR per participant), with the remainder covered by SSF. Costs include scholarships for students that cannot afford the registration fee.
Current and Future Challenges
The main risk for SSF is not raising enough funding to run workshops. We have been successfully mitigating this risk since 2007 through good support of our partners, securing funding from private and corporate sponsors, and applying for governmental and corporate calls for funding.
Our organizational board consists of experts from the IT industry, science, and education. This gives us an opportunity to benefit from best practices in industry and academia without being restricted by policies of corporations and institutions. All board members actively worked on SSF by being mentors and support staff for multiple years:
Juliana Lana Prah, mag. ing. biotechn. - safety and quality officer in Ewopharma d.o.o., From 2015-2017 workshop leader at the the project Petica, project of Croatian Medical Association aimed at prevention of obesity. Co-organiser of SSF since 2015. President of the NGO since 2018.
Sandro Vuk, mag. edu. biol. et chem. - SSF mentor from 2016 - 2017, support staff in 2018. Teacher of chemistry in the Vladimir Prelog Science School in Zagreb. Secretary of NGO since 2018.
Sunčan Stilinović – Java developer and head of software development in Erste Card Club doo. Started volunteering for SSF in 2009; in 2015 took over the role of the main organizer and in 2016 founded the NGO Tvornica Znanosti.
Bojan Markičević, mag. phys.-geophys. – teacher of physics in the primary school Velika Mlaka. Teaching science communication and transversal skills at the Center for research and interdisciplinarity, Paris Descartes University, Paris, France.
Ivan Novosel, mag. educ. phys.et inf – the main organizer of SSF from 2009-2015. 2012-2014 organizer of the educational laboratory at the Science and Society Synergy Institute in Čakovec. Teacher of physics in the V. grammar school in Zagreb
Kelly Gibbs - Educational innovator and master student at the Center of Research & Interdisciplinary in Paris. A contributor and workshop animator with SSF since 2018, Kelly is a co-campaign manager of this fundraiser.
Mourdjen Bari - A professor of game design in the Master of Learning Sciences at CRI Paris for 5 years, he also co-founded Studio Traversée, an NGO teaching out-of-school youths to create video games. Mourdjen has been a workshop animator with SSF since 2017.