About The Association for Technical Culture of Slovenia
Zveza za tehnično kulturo Slovenije (ZOTKS) / The Association for Technical Culture of Slovenia
ZOTKS is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation with more than 60-year tradition of working with the youth in the fields of science and technology. Our main programme aims at encouraging young people to develop their creative and innovative potential, especially in the field of science and technology. Young people are involved in scientific research of technical and natural sciences through various forms of activities. The program is based on years of experience and work with young people. ZOTKS’ team is experienced in addressing and encouraging young people to engage in various activities and provide their innovative proposals of solution to various problems in the society. Every year the above-mentioned activities attract over 60.000 children and young people as well as 4.000 scientists, teachers, tutors, and other experts.
ZOTKS is accepted as the main organization that cowers the field of science and technology in Slovenia. We cooperate with many associations in various specialized fields as well as all four Slovenian universities (Uni. of Ljubljana, Uni. of Maribor, Uni. of Nova Gorica, Uni. of Primorska).
Our main activities:
We have a contract with the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) stating that we are qualified for the implementation of an infrastructure program in Slovenia in the field of research. Our infrastructure program includes:
- The national competition of young researchers of Slovenia is organized to introduce science to young people at an early age. Popularization of science, discovery of talented young people in various fields and encouraging young people to enhance their knowledge are also important aspects. At the main event, young people have the opportunity to discuss their work with experts and publicly present the results of their research.
- For decades, knowledge competitions are among our most important activities for achieving our mission and goals. Competitions in biology, chemistry, science, logic/linguistic, computer science, IOT, multimedia, photography, technology, robotics, construction and model construction are held annually at school, regional, state and international level. Each year approximately 60,000 young people attend our competitions.
- ZOTKS is a member of several international Olympics and international fairs of science. Our competition teams successfully represent Slovenia on the European Union Science Olympiad (EUSO, in 2018 EUSO will be organized by ZOTKS in Slovenia), the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL), the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), Expo-Sciences Europe/International, European contest for young researchers (EUCYS), the Intel international Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) and the International Movement for Leisure Activities in Science and Technology (MILSET). Our mentors are respected members of international judges teams.
- For the last six years our young competitors the so-called Zotka's talents are gathered at ZOTKINI talenti gala events. This is a formal announcement of the results of national competitions of knowledge and young researchers competition. The event is also a promotion of the best competitors and young researchers as well as their mentors.
- Training of teachers and tutors, preparing training courses in various areas of technology and science is important to ensure the participation of mentors, who have the most direct and the first contact with young people.
- In April 2016, ZOTKS became qualified for the title of the European talent point (European talent support network, European council for high ability - ECHA) in the cooperation with The Centre for Research and Promotion of Gifterdness at the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana. This integrates knowledge, experience and ideas of researchers and practitioners in the field of giftedness, pursues a variety of research and development, training and consultancy activities, thus striving for the promotion of giftedness by fostering the quality life of the gifted and talented in accordance with the vision of the Slovenia's Development Strategy.
- Every summer we organize science camps and summer schools (gathering young people and letting them discover science, encouraging research activities and innovative work for further development of their abilities) - 20-25 events per year.
- Agricultural activities (national and international ploughing competitions, training for farmers).
- Other activities (organisation and cooperation in various educational and promotional exhibitions and events, international cooperation, publishing).