🕒 4 min
Co-author: Dora Grbavac
Those of you who have been around these parts of the web long enough to remember last year’s Summer School of Science announcements, as well as all the S3 alumni among you, may be pleased to read the title of this post. ‘Tis true! We are proud to announce that the Summer School is back – in person – and in spite of the pandemic that led to its cancellation twice in a row. If by some chance you have found this post without having heard of S3 before, read ahead a quick rundown. We urge all of you to check the School’s website for up-to-date information on what we are preparing for you.
Summer School of Science is an international summer workshop organized by the Society for Out-of-Frame Education. It is held in Požega, Croatia, and split into two camps:
- S3, for high school students who have completed 9 or 10 years of schooling (or equivalent, usually 15 or 16 years old)
- S3++, for high school students who have completed 11 or 12 years of schooling (or equivalent, usually 17 or 18 years old)
Each camp is ten days long, with the dates being:
- S3 2021: July 24th – August 3rd
- S3++ 2021: August 4th – August 14th
To apply, you have two tasks to complete: the application form + the motivational letter, and an interview.
The application form is your first step towards applying for the Summer School. It allows you to share your essential personal information, previous experiences with summer camps and other similar programs, your educational background and your preferences regarding this year’s projects. This part of the application process also requires you to write a motivational letter. We need it to get to know you better – this is where you describe your interests in science, plans for future development, any thoughts or ideas that you find important – all in your own words and much more in depth than a form would allow. We don’t expect you to have prior research experience, medals from science competitions or anything of the sort. In fact, when it comes to experience with summer camps, we give the upper hand to those who haven’t had the chance to participate in one before.
The next part of your application is the interview, which will be held over Skype. After applications close, you will talk to your chosen camp’s organizers. This is where we assess your proficiency in English and your personal motivation, often based around your motivational letter. You will find out whether you got in about a week later. After that, you will receive detailed instructions on how to organize all the practical aspects of your trip and stay in Požega.
S3(++) 2022 structure
This year will be business as usual for us – during your time there, you will do four hours of project work in the morning, followed by a one-hour lunch break. Well fed and rested, you will continue working on your project for another four hours in the afternoon. Project work will be followed by dinner and science lectures or social activities. This year, we are, yet again, preparing a wide range of different activities to ensure that everyone is able to have fun, hang out, and enjoy themselves as much as possible. The in-person experience allows for the most freedom with this aspect of the School – you will be able to interact with other participants in your free time, as well as explore and enjoy the camp and its surroundings. During the camp, you will have to present your project twice, in what are colloquially known as The Briefing and The Final Presentation. The briefing is held on the fourth day of the camp and its purpose is to see if you have a firm grasp on the theoretical basis for your project, which you will have prepared for over the first few days. It is a unique opportunity to summarize everything you had done up until that point and put the whole project into perspective. The final presentation is held on the last day and is essentially the culmination of your project work. In it, you will present everything you did during the camp, as well as what you learned and experienced during the Summer School. You will get to tell us how your experiments went, which conclusions you came to, what you could have done better and whether you are going to keep on working on the project after the Summer School is finished.
Finally, the question of the pandemic still stands. We are doing everything in our power to ensure a safe working environment for you. As summer approaches, we will continually update our plans – as well as the guidelines for our staff, participants and guests – to best fit the current situation. Check here for those updates.
We are determined to bring back the Summer School in its original format despite all the difficulties. We want you and many more generations of ambitious, inspired young scientists to be able to have experiences like these, which have so far been taken away from you. While this is far from the only (or the worst) problem right now, we would like to help you find some comfort and enjoyment among all the stress. So, as we always do, we invite you to join us – in Požega – and to keep sciencing!