Dance of Robots in Sarajevo

Practical Skills for the World of Tomorrow

July 9, 2024

Dance of Robots in Sarajevo

Practical Skills for the World of Tomorrow

The buzz of machines and the chatter of curious young creatives spread through classrooms across Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in recent months. These were not ordinary classrooms but innovation hubs where students mastered the art of creating and 'bringing to life' robots within the 'Schools of the Future' program.

This program aimed at strengthening STEM education in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been supported by the project "Economic Governance for Growth" (EGG2), funded by the Government of the Kingdom of Norway and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in BiH.

The first encounter with robotics for students from elementary and high schools participating in this program opened up a whole new world of imagination. Carefully connecting wires, starting motors, and programming sparked curiosity in young minds to explore the boundaries of technology and their creativity.

"We had no idea what robotics was or what it all looked like," says Amer Talo, a student at the Combined Secondary School Tešanj.

However, through experimenting with robotics, Amer quickly acquired new skills. Together with his schoolmates Eldar Bošnjak and Abdurahman Subašić, they successfully assembled a robot named Hexapod that performs a dance choreography. Their project was awarded the best in the high school category at the "Schools of the Future - Imagination Day in BiH 2024" event, held on June 11th in Sarajevo.

The dancing Hexapod may appear as a fun invention of modern technology, but students from Tešanj reveal that its creation involved overcoming numerous challenges with the guidance of their mentor, professor Mujo Zeničanin. Initially, the students thoroughly studied robotics theory with mentoring support from STEMI. Subsequently, they transitioned to hands-on work using equipment provided through the "Schools of the Future" program under the EGG2 project.

"Our main project as a team was to create a dance, or rather a robot choreography set to specific music. Of course, getting to the actual dance involved many steps— assembling the robot itself, calibrating the motors, connecting the motors to the motherboard," explains Talo.

Student Eldar Bošnjak adds that a key part of the project was creating an app for remote control of the Hexapod. The young students from Tešanj also decided to challenge themselves with an additional task of creating a robotic arm, which enhanced their 3D modeling skills.

"Our mentor, along with other participating teachers, dedicated their time fully to us and always allowed us to express our opinions, ideas, and suggestions, which gave us additional motivation in our work," said Bošnjak.

During their work, the students went through several workshops where they acquired knowledge in microcontroller programming, C++ programming, mobile app development, 3D modeling, and 3D printing. Teachers guided them through all areas of robotics until the final creation of the Hexapod.

"Each area was highly interesting to the students, and they actively proposed ideas and presented solutions. There was a lot of playfulness and laughter, and we truly enjoyed ourselves. The ultimate goal was to strengthen students' robotics skills and create a positive working environment. The students demonstrated impressive knowledge, and some are already wondering if they can continue practicing even during holidays," said mentor Mujo Zeničanin.

The students emphasize that the project helped them not only get closer to robotics but also connect with their peers from other cities and the teaching staff. They significantly improved their teamwork and communication skills. Teachers noticed that among the students participating in the program, there were also introverted children who strengthened their social skills through workshops. Through STEM education, students not only enhance technical skills but also develop crucial social skills such as teamwork, innovative and critical thinking, preparing them for a collaborative and dynamic environment in their future academic and professional careers.

His schoolmate Abdurahman Subašić adds that the lack of funding and equipment is the biggest challenge faced by young people interested in robotics and new technologies, which is why programs like "Schools of the Future" offer them opportunities for hands-on experience.

Therefore, this program also included younger generations of elementary school students to introduce them to robotics. Hundreds of elementary school students spent the entire school year assembling and programming Hexapods through extracurricular activities.


The practical activities were particularly exciting for students who have had a love for robotics since childhood. Among them is Najla Skopljak, a student from Ćamil Sijarić Elementary School in Nemila. Najla received a robot assembly kit as a gift when she was eight years old and remembers that toy as her first step towards understanding technology.

"Soon, I realized that assembling and bringing things to life with my own hands is very interesting. However, I couldn't find a suitable place for further exploration until seventh grade when a friend told me about the robotics club. That's when my hope came true. We started slowly assembling robots and creating applications, until we reached the final task - choreographing a dance for our robot," recounted Skopljak.

At the final event "Schools of the Future - Imagination Day in BiH 2024," Najla, along with her schoolmates Davud Hečimović and Hamza Telalović, won the award for the best project in the elementary school category. They were assisted by their mentor, teacher Edber Kubat.

"Ideas were flowing and evolving day by day. Which song to choose that could showcase our programming skills while being unique? We decided on Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' and attempted to simulate the well-known moonwalk. We knew that if we succeeded in our goal, the moonwalk would impress the audience and the judges," said Kubat.

The "Schools of the Future" program has shown that young people actively explore universities specializing in robotics, automation, and other STEM fields. They believe that with STEM education and resources, they can prepare for future jobs and actively shape the future of technology and innovation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Increasing initiatives and programs supporting the development and investment in STEM education provide opportunities for young people to foster entrepreneurial spirit and contribute to innovations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This encourages future generations of innovators and leaders who will drive sustainable economic development in the country.