Croatian teams shine at NASA Space Apps Challenge

It was a weekend to remember for CHeDDaR (Andrea Brzica, Lobel Marunić, Ema Donev, Donna Keran) and Cankarevci (Dominik Grimm, Oliver Belošević, Eva Arapović, Iva Krajačić Sokol, Ivanica Beg, Boris Počuča), two teams that took the top prizes at the Croatian arm of NASA Space Apps Challenge, the world’s largest hackathon.

Held October 7-8 in more than 200 locations around the globe, the challenge fosters a spirit of innovation. In Zagreb, the hackaton attracted 88 participants from Croatia, Bulgaria, Zimbabwe and India, including children, teens, college students and adults. Split into 17 teams, they used NASA's data and technology to devise solutions for major challenges of our time, ranging from space exploration to climate change.

Andrea Brzica, Donna Keran, Ema Donev, Lobel Marunić

Oliver Belošević, Eva Arapović, Iva Krajačić Sokol, Boris Počuča, Ivanica Beg, Dominik Grimm

Each team chose to work on one of 30 global challenges. They had five minutes to captivate a panel of judges with their visionary ideas. CHeDDaR team prevailed, with Cankarevci coming in second. Both teams earned themselves a chance to visit NASA and represent Croatia on the global stage. The youngest participants got special awards for their creativity and presentations.

Ivan Cankar Elementary School hosted this notable event in Zagreb. Award-winning STEM teacher and editor Maja Mačinko made it happen, together with a group of like-minded STEM enthusiasts. Infosit was happy to sponsor the prize for the winning team and thus support the initiative that brings together young STEM talents.

Team CHeDDaR

Team Cankarevci

The judging team consisted of experts from a variety of fields, including Davor Cafuta (University of Applied Sciences), Ana Sović Kržić (Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Croatian Robotics Association), Vid Vučak (Sculptor - Eugen Kvaternik Elementary School), Matilda Bulić (Školska knjiga, Croatian publishing house), Boris Kanazir (Croatian National Television), Brigitta Cafuta (University of Applied Sciences), Saša Ceci (Ruđer Bošković Institute), and Marin Trošelj (STEMI).

Mentors-volunteers included Katarina Tomić, Alen Kovačević, Kristina Panižić, Žarko Jakšić, Robert Sedak, and Petar Dobrić.

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