About the project
The “STEM in the Clouds” project, which will bring together five civil society organizations providing informal education in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to children and young people, is aimed at improving the capacity of employees, volunteers and organizations in general for working in an online environment – for procurement of equipment and software, and the introduction of new working methods into the business.
According to the informative graphic created by the Office for NGOs of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the civil sector grew in every respect from 2017 to 2019, but the problems faced by civil society organizations in 2020 (due to the consequences of the COVID-crisis and earthquakes) put organizations, their employees, members, volunteers and users (who are usually the most vulnerable members of society) in a disadvantageous position. The civil sector is forced to become more flexible and open to the possibilities offered by the online environment and technologies for a number of reasons. For example, children and young people from smaller communities, who otherwise have fewer opportunities to explore STEM fields because they have no specialized organizations in their communities, due to the consequences of the pandemic, were deprived of activities aimed at stimulating interest in the STEM field. Participating in online programs would help solve such issues.
Due to the need to strengthen the capacity to implement online educational content from the STEM field for children and young people from smaller communities, we applied for the project “STEM in the Clouds” at the public call “Strengthening the capacity of CSOs to respond to the needs of the local community” (UP.04.2.1.11 ) from the European Social Fund, Operational Program “Effective Human Resources” 2014 – 2020. By the decision of the Office for Associations of the Government of the Republic of Croatia dated June 17, 2022, a decision was made which determined that HRK 464,562.46 was allocated to the project, with 100% co-financing by the European Union.
As a result of strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations, from September 15, 2022 to September 15, 2023, the partners will conduct 3 trainings as part of the activity “Organizing the training of representatives of civil society organizations in the field of financial management and fundraising and the legislative framework for the activities of civil society organizations society”; 3 multi-day workshops, an education and a workshop within the framework of the activity “Designing and implementing training and other forms of strengthening and improving the capacity of employees and/or volunteers of CSOs for direct work in the field of employment, social inclusion and education, including business adaptation with the application of information and communication technology”; create and pilot an online volunteering program within the activity “Encouraging volunteering in the local community”; conduct 5 cycles of workshops from 5 STEM topics and create 5 video-animated educational materials for online learning as part of the activity “Designing, creating and implementing online programs and workshops, providing psychological and counseling assistance to people who have suffered trauma, stress or loss due to crisis and, within the framework of “Creation of online and digital manuals, players, simulations and other tools for self-help and support of vulnerable groups”, create an online social game with educational content.
Planned activities aimed at popularizing STEM will be implemented in order to introduce new work methods (implementation of online education synchronously and asynchronously, creation of courses, etc.) and to strengthen the capacity of organizations to create online educational content adapted to children and young people. The implementation of the project “STEM in the Clouds” will contribute to the agility of organizations to face crisis situations in the future, and to be able to offer users quality programs in an online environment. Also, continuous implementation of programs that are of general interest to our society will be ensured and will generally contribute to the long-term overcoming of crisis that may occur in the future.
The coordinator of the STEM in the Clouds project is the Centre of Technical Culture Rijeka, and the project consortium consists of the Višnjan Astronomical Society, Bioteka – Association for the Promotion of Biology and Related Sciences, CARPE DIEM, association for encouraging and developing the creative and social potential of children, young people and adults, FabLab – association for promoting digital fabrication.
The content of the web publication is the sole responsibility of the Technical Culture Center Rijeka.