[RRI Good Practice] Science Education by the Montenegrin Science Promotion Foundation (PRONA)

What is the good practice about?

The main aim of PRONA's activities is to improve the image of science in Montenegrin society, to detect the "human face" of science through direct exchanges and discussions with researchers, as well as to understand the impact of research on daily life. Our attendees have the chance to see how things in science work and through interaction during different actions, confirm that the goal has been achieved. Why is this initiative needed? Through its regular activities with young people, PRONA has observed that a decreasing number of young people opt for natural sciences in Montenegro and that this represents a serious problem for society as a whole because there is no development of natural sciences and no development of society. The future of society lies in science, and working with young people and promoting science among young people is the first and perhaps the most important step.

The general impact of PRONA's actions related to Science Education influence:

  • The public image of researchers and their job
  • The public image of science and its potential impact on citizens’ daily lives
  • Interest expressed by young people in career sciences.

Other potential impacts are on:

  • Policies
  • Cooperation between research-related entities having cooperated for the action
  • Researchers themselves (communication skills, ways of perceiving the interaction with the public at large, etc.).

The specific impacts observed include:

  • Increased interest of young people in science and science careers (with an indication of the parameters used for measuring such impact whether possible)
  • Increased public awareness about science and researchers' work (with an indication of the parameters used for measuring such impact whether possible)

What are the main objectives?

The main goal of PRONA is to promote STEM among young people and give them the opportunity to improve their knowledge. PRONA believes that science is not only for the smart but for all children and that science is not so complicated but can be very interesting. What are the main activities? PRONA organizes numerous activities that promote science and socializing, such as regular Summer School of Science (for the 15th year in a row), Winter School of Science, Planet in Your Hands, Researchers Nights, etc. One of our main internet corners, where we provide an opportunity for all young researchers and innovators to share their knowledge or learn some new things, is the Science news website (https://naucnenovosti.me).

Who is involved?

In the aforementioned activities, PRONA cooperates with numerous domestic and international organizations, local and national authorities, the scientific community and the economic sector. Its goal is to include as many representatives of different stakeholders as possible in order to create a stronger synergy in the future. Most attendees of PRONA’s activities are scholars from elementary and high schools and students. Based on their responses to the questionnaires provided, they are satisfied with the offered program, experiments, and presentations. Most of them expressed their interest to take part in similar manifestations in the future, or even becoming professional scientists.

Can this good practice be replicated?

The experience that PRONA has in working with young people is a unique application in the region of the Western Balkans. In addition, its experience can be easily transferred to other countries in the region because science must be promoted among young people if we want to retain and give them the opportunity to develop. PRONA is ready to share its knowledge and experience with others. The realization of activities such as e.g., Summer and winter school requires financial resources (in the amount of some 20k EUR per year), which is not large, because the impact that the school produces on children (future experts from various fields) exceeds the costs that are created by the implementation of the activities.

Relevant RRI keys: Science Education

Type of practice: Promotional activities/events/campaigns, Publications/promotional material, Strategic & action planning, Participation in public policy/researches/studies, Good governance, Organisation of training, webinars

Target groups: youth (children, pupils), students (up to Master level)

Geographical focus
  • General/no specific focus
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by POLICY ANSWERS Project support on January 11, 2023
Modified on January 11, 2023