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Former Member
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University Alliances South East Europe is excited to share with you the successful execution of first Winter SAP school for Young Thinkers! Winter SAP school for Young Thinkers events took place on February  23dr and 24th at Faculty of organisational sciences University of Maribor, which is UA member institution.

The event was organised together with already mentioned Faculty of organisational sciences and Institute for the promotion of innovation for young people (Ja Slovenija), member of JA-YE Europe, which  is sponsored also from the SAP’s side on European level. Together we invited high school students from north-west and central region of the country, in order to get them closer to SAP and increase interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields of studies.

First day, the February 23rd was dedicated to Design Thinking. Jaka Crnivec from University Alliances firstly briefly introduced SAP as a company and how we at SAP use Design Thinking methodology while developing new solutions or helping our customers to identify problems and searching solutions to these problems. Later he lead participants through 6 hour  Design Thinking session. The main purpose was to teach students how to apply DT methodology in any problem students will encounter in their future. Therefore we chose quite an easy challenge, something that students already yet, were able to discuss it, and gather problem insights -  User friendly Vending Machine. The students where very engaged in the workshop and involved in the tasks requested by the DT Facilitator from the beginning. The common feedback from the students about the workshop was great, and here is summed up: group work and collaboration + innovation and new ideas + imagination has no limits + connecting things and  functions + design + new approach = FUN


Second day, February 24th, was dedicated to introduction to programming and stimulating interest in STEM field of studies among 17 young thinkers who participated the workshop. This workshop was prepared and delivered by Davorin Pandel , SAP Academy for Sales participant from Slovenia, who has a Bachelor degree form Computer sciences and he is finishing his Master studies from Business and Economics. According to his programming experiences he proposed Python programming language as the most appropriate to introduce high school students to the world of code. Through the workshop students were introduced to the basics programming and why should they even learn how to program, algorithms and  basics of programming structures. Davorin also prepared three intermediate test to check what students have learned. The little secret was that Davorin summed the test results, and the student with the highest end score received brand fresh Raspberry Pi2 as a prize. And a bit surprisingly the winner was – Anja, the only female participant at the second day of  Winter SAP school for Young Thinkers. I would like to say BIG THANK YOU to Davorin for the time he has dedicated for this workshop.

Future plans for Young Thinkers in Slovenia?

The interests to participate and host such event was shown also by some teachers from central Slovenian region, as well from another UA member institution from north-east part of the country. According to this interest, we already agreed with teachers and professors to organize similar events till the end of the year. We also plan to collaborate further with Institute for the promotion of innovation for young people, as Design Thinking is a great way to foster innovative thinking among Young Thinkers, and could be incorporated in their existing projects.

Jaka Crnivec

University Alliances SEE