Advanced STEM program carried out for for gifted highschool students
The planned STEM „camp“ for gifted student was carried out as part of the „Be STEMpatic!“ project, with 10 students from highschools in the Virovitica-Podravina county. The camp took place from the 2nd to the 4th of March at the Information and Education Centre „Noskovačka Dubrava“, a public institution which governs the county's natural resources. The representatives of the county opened the Camp by expressing their delight at the opportunity to host such a unique program which is the first of its kind when it comes to gifted students in the STEM domain in Croatia, in their midst.
Seven workshops were carried out in the duration of the Camp, which included topics such as: „Assemble and breathe life into your robot“, „Competition of robot performance in different tasks“, „Atomic cores, everywhere around us“, „Chemistry – the less, the better“, „Electricity without dinosaurs“, „What are my interests and what is best for my future: A vocational guidance workshop“. The workshops were lead by scientists from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER), the Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb and the Institute of Social Sciences in Zagreb.
The participants of the first STEM gifted students Camp were selected based on the Model of identification of STEM giftedness, which was developed for the project. The students were selected from a pool of approximately 200 potential candidates, who were also highschool students. Tens of measures were collected via testing about all the candidates, and only ten were selected based on the criteria of the postulated model of STEM giftedness. Apart from the results of psyhological tests and STEM knowledge measures, the researchers had access to additional information about the candidates (such as their current and past grades). Conversations with the students in the camp and their teachers showed that most of the candidates had participated in national, regional and other highly selective competitions which exist in the educational system. STEM gifted!