A. Sutlovic, M.I. Glogar, I. Matijevic

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Textile Technology (CROATIA)
Emphasizing the term STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as important areas of education is result of decreasing of young people's interest in these areas. In addition, the development of awareness that the areas that encompass the concept of STEM are the driving force behind the development of society, contribute to this. To achieve the goal, popularize the STEM and increase the number of experts, so even in the field of textile technology and science, it is important to carry out education from elementary school age. At the global level, there is growing awareness of the value of interdisciplinary approach versus the narrow specialization and also of importance of STEM's collaboration between science, technology and engineering with arts. Education that links art and science is important because historical evidence shows that these relationships are already congenital of the most effective and innovative STEM experts. As Daniel Bell stated, the art and technology are not separate realms. Art employs technology, but for its own ends, while technology, too is a form of art that bridges culture and social structure, deeply involved in the process of reshaping them both. Some key results show that implementing the art-based teaching in education, leads to increased motivation, interest, and learning in STEM areas. The synergy of science, technology, engineering and creativity is particularly well-integrated in the field of textile technology with the accent on processes of textile dyeing and printing.

In this paper, it will be reviewed and analysed the development and rising importance of STEM workshops named COLORINA that have been organised and performed since 2012, in the frame of skills development projects of University of Zagreb, Faculty of Textile Technology, Department of Textile Chemistry and Ecology. The major goal of these workshops is developing the awareness of importance of engineering and technology in society development, as well as increasing the interests, skills and competences in the field of textile technology and science, particularly area of textile dyeing and printing, promoting them as a platform of science, technology and art synergy. In the COLORINA STEM workshops, the width and interdisciplinary nature of this specific area, is introduced to elementary and pre-school children in a fun and affordable manner. The program of workshops includes introducing the innovative techniques of textile dying and printing, such as application of thermochromous dyes in textile dyeing or the technique of digital textile printing, as well as some traditional techniques such as textile dyeing with natural dyes or textile screen printing, to participants. The participants are also introduced to some engineering problems and to a different modalities of laboratory work in the field of textile science and technology. The content of the workshops is constructed in a way of increasing the confidence and innovative way of thinking of the participants as well as their knowledge and interest for textile science, technology and design. Finally, through the program of his workshops is emphasising and promoting the results of research performed in the field of “everyday textiles”, which contributing the global position of the importance of creativity and design in transforming the 21st century, as the science and technology had in last century.