Nenad Bakić, Davor Tomašković, Iva Šulentić and Korado Korlević
Hrvatski Telekom has presented projects that within this year's 11th donation contest entitled “Together We Are Stronger” received donations worth HRK 350,000 per project. The projects in question were “Internet of Things in Croatian Primary Schools 2016” and “Campus”, due to which 1,300 children will be provided the opportunity of education in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
This year, the total amount of the donation worth HRK 700,000 was divided between two categories – New Technologies and Science. One winning project was selected in each category that will, due to the donation received, become involved in the performance of a vast array of activities for children and youth, aiming to introduce them to the world of science through play. HT employees will contribute to project implementation by sharing their knowledge and experiences.
“HT is one of the key cornerstones of the Croatian economy and through its operations it supports over 27,000 jobs in Croatia, whilst its share in the total exports of the Croatian ICT sector currently stands at almost 60%. Consequently, HT increases the quality of human capital, since it facilitates communication, whereas information and new learning methods are becoming increasingly accessible. Investment in STEM education of young experts is a part of our long-term development strategy, since proper and purposeful education of current and future generations is a prerequisite for the development of the entire society and the economy”, pointed out Davor Tomašković, President of the Management Board of Hrvatski Telekom during the presentation.
In addition to implementation of investment under the programme "Together We Are Stronger”, HT, as a market leader and a technology company, continuously co-operates with the academic community and students through scholarships and involvement of its employees in STEM activities.
850 children will be learning Logo programming and application of IoT technologies
The project entitled “Internet of Things in Croatian Primary Schools 2016” will provide opportunities for development of pupil and teacher potential in the field of robotics through the previously founded Croatian Makers robotics league, and its holder is the association Institute for Youth Development and Innovativity. It is implemented in two phases: a total of 55 primary schools and around 550 pupils are directly involved during the first phase, whereas during the second phase, a dozen best mentors selected in these schools will become project ambassadors and will be running additional workshops with around 300 pupils who had not been involved during the first phase.
“We can express our utmost satisfaction with the fact that HT selected us as a partner in the project Together We Are Stronger in STEM fields, both due to substantial financial support and the overall importance of HT as a partner that shares with us the insight into the importance of STEM education. It is the essence of each contemporary curriculum. In case of Croatia, a step forward made by children towards the advantages provided by modern technologies in STEM education is fundamental, as it focuses on the future, rather than on the past”, explained Nenad Bakić, the founder of the Institute for Youth Development and Innovativity.
Under this project older children will be given the opportunity to creatively express themselves by actual application of the Internet of Things technology, through which everyday devices are connected into smart networks and hence concrete problems are solved, such as automation of residential and commercial premises, assistance for the disabled, and energy conservation, to name a few. The second phase of the project is intended for younger children, in which they will be provided the basics of Logo programming through interactive implementation.
The number of children attending workshops of the project named “Campus” will be tripled
Due to the donation provided by HT to the project named “Campus”, the Višnjan-based Astronomical Society, as the project holder, will get the opportunity to equip its interdisciplinary Lab for Biology, Chemistry, and Astrobiology (LABOS), and hence the number of pupils attending the workshops and schools at the Camp will triple. Consequently, up to 450 children will be educated at the Camp in the future, as well as teachers, mentors, assistants, and volunteers involved in work with youth in STEM fields. The project has been developed within the Višnjan-based Science and Education Centre.
“The welfare of our society depends on technology and science, and those involved in education are particularly aware of the fact that children are currently showing substantial interest in these fields. Following this donation, children, their parents, mentors, and volunteers have found a partner in Hrvatski Telekom, a technological leader aware of the importance of technological and scientific excellence for the development of the community. Our programmes are aiming to provide a foundation for the development of a system in which each interested child would be provided the opportunity to attempt to be a scientist or a technologist and subsequently make a decision on the career choice in this field”, stated the founder of the Astronomical Society Višnjan, Korado Korlević.
During the period of 11 years since the launch of the donation contest named “Together We Are Stronger”, Hrvatski Telekom has provided funding worth over HRK 9 million to support 240 valuable projects. 39 applications were submitted in two previously mentioned categories under this year's “Together We Are Stronger” contest, whilst the focus was primarily on those who promote STEM education amongst primary school pupils in the most effective way. HT Group employees selected five finalists in each category through an internal selection, whilst the winners were selected by the expert panel comprising of Hrvatski Telekom representatives and experts from competent institutions and associations.