Suad Krilašević, a doctoral candidate at the renowned Dutch Delft University of Technology University of Technology, and Bahrudin Trbalic, a doctoral candidate from American Stanford University, are examples of young people trying to bring science closer to new generations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This was confirmed by today’s meeting at the HUB387, where, with the support of USAID, they held a presentation titled “Innovative Horizons of Experimental Physics: Science as a Driver of Development”.
“In addition to the moral and philosophical reasons why science is beneficial for a society, I think it is necessary to emphasize the economic aspect, which is very important in today’s world. Innovations that make products better raise their price and enable greater profit. If a country’s economy focuses sufficiently on successful innovations, the additional profit can improve its economic situation and the well-being of its citizens. Given that the current Bosnian economy is mainly based on the extraction of natural resources and cheap labor, I believe that the best way to change this situation is through quality scientific research,” said Krilašević.
These young people want Bosnia and Herzegovina to become a respectable and accessible country for engaging in science and technology, which is why they became part of the Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology.
“One of the many steps needed to achieve this goal is to improve scientific education in our schools and to get more students interested in science. I met the Expert Experiments team through high school physics competitions and through the Association. Our love for physics brought us together. Bahrudin had already chosen to study experimental physics, and being aware of the flaws in our educational system, he suggested that we try to make experimental physics interesting through good experiments and available to all schools, not just those who can afford it, using cheap electronic components. After several years, working in our spare time, we developed our device that you saw today in the presentation, primarily due to Bahrudin’s efforts. Although it’s still in the beta phase, we believe the device is quite functional. It now takes much less money to make a device equipped with all the necessary sensors, while commercial kits from larger companies are available at prices that are measured in hundreds or even thousands of dollars. We are now in the process of developing interesting experiments that are open enough that students don’t feel like they’re just following a list of steps, but on the other hand, they are directed enough that they don’t feel overwhelmed with information. I hope we will soon be ready for testing in schools,” Krilašević said.
His colleague Bahrudin Trbalić, is this month on a summer internship at Authority Partners, which is part of USAID’s #WelcomeBack summer internship program for young people from the Bosnian diaspora. He wanted to use his time here to share his knowledge with the community.
“We took the time here to organize today’s workshop and show what we can do. We want to bring science closer to the youth, make a leap in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and find partners for new ventures in the future. Through ANNT, and all the other initiatives we are involved in, we see that young people want knowledge, want to get involved and explore the world of innovations. It’s up to us to bring that knowledge here. We have held workshops with our product in Jordan, Ethiopia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In fact, for three years now, about 50 high school students have had the opportunity to hang out with us during the STEM Youth Camp organized by ANNT. As part of this five-day camp, students have the opportunity to experience the wonders of experimental physics. Many of them express a desire to be part of the project and contribute to the creation of this product. For us, science enthusiasts, there is no better experience than bringing scientific concepts closer to young people through very interesting and interactive lectures. We want to renew the camp and activities next year, but we need the support of both institutions and the private sector. We can’t do it alone,” Trbalić said.
Jovana Musić, director of HUB387, says such meetings provide an opportunity for new connections.
“Through activities at ACADEMY387 and everything we do, we strive to gather young innovators, encourage knowledge, and open space for learning. It is a great pleasure for us at HUB387 to be organizing today’s DiaLab session. HUB387, as a technological hub and a place for connecting people with similar interests for developing ideas and business, has been connecting successful Bosnians and Herzegovinians from the diaspora with young people in BiH through various projects and events for almost ten years. Today’s lecture perfectly complements our efforts to promote new and innovative content – Thank you USAID and Diaspora Invest for the initiative and organization, we look forward to future cooperation,” Musić said.
This summer, USAID has gathered hundreds of participants in dozens of meetings and workshops in Sarajevo and across Bosnia and Herzegovina for knowledge and information exchange programs with the diaspora. “Already in September and October, we expect the arrival of mentors and intermediaries for export from the diaspora, so we continue with activities. It’s important that we have brought the diaspora back into focus, and events like today’s show that the new generation understands what it means to participate and contribute to community development through knowledge transfer,” shared representatives of USAID Diaspora Invest Project.