Croatian Makers is a project developed by The Institute for Youth Development and Innovativity
The Institute for Youth Development and Innovativity (Croatian acronym IRIM) is privately funded and its mission is contained in its name. We believe that the mental gap between the developed world and Croatia is getting ever deeper, but that in the time of open and publicly available technologies and media it is ever easier to jump over it – the gap is narrowing.
IRIM sees as the main platform for development of youth robotics and automation, which have become easily accessible – technological and financial barriers for entry are markedly reduced, and tactility, challenge and speed of achievement of results make them extremely attractive as a didactic tool.
Robotics and automation are ideal tools for entry into the world of programming and STEM in general in which the Croatian school system is particularly deficient. However, its main contribution to society IRIM sees in changing the mindset and shifting the focus from the past into the future.
IRIM donates and develops robotics and automation education in elementary school – age children, but also among older youth who are closer to the world of work and entrepreneurship.
The founders of IRIM are Nenad and Rujana Bakić.
Below is a map of donations and you can see some of the experiences of our partners here (in Croatian only). As you can see, the largest concentration of donor recipients is in Slavonia, probably due to difficult economic situation and economic perspective in that region and a motivation for change. The only donation outside of Croatia went to Livno in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Some donations are not marked on the map. For instance we donated the first unmanned aircrafts to Croatian Mountain Rescue service (CMRS), this is the first one donated (in 2014. when they were less accessible). How this fits into the project you can see from this part of the statement: “… I think that by using specifications given by CMRS in cooperation with young students we can quickly develop premium products in the segment of advanced uses of unmanned aircraft.” The aim is to develop as much as possible robotics and automation education among older youth who are closer to the world of work and enterprise.
At the beginning of 2016 we temporarily completely devoted our focus to elementary school age children by starting the Croatian Makers League, which will encompass more than 200 schools and other youth institutions.