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.
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