Science Arena

20190427 – STEM Games logo – Arena S – bijeli tekst(1)


In the Science Arena, you’ll be working on oceanographic research data correlated with the understanding of the ecosystem for renewable development by using your basic knowledge in biology, chemistry, and physics. A group of mentors from different science fields are designing these challenges, based on real-life problems that you’ll be facing there.


You’ll need a multidisciplinary team made up of biologists, chemists, and physicists, as well as students from similar disciplines, to successfully solve a complex task. Skills like Excel, R, and other statistics programs for data analysis are the ones that’ll help you the most at it.



If you have a scientific-educational foundation and you want to gain experience by working in a multidisciplinary team on real scientific problems that you won’t encounter at university, then this Arena is the right place for you. During these four days, you’ll have a chance to work with other young and ambitious people that share your way of thinking and have the same passion for challenges. By working in teams and having your unique approaches, you’ll be able to find solutions to the given problems. Depending on the results, you’ll be able to demonstrate your thoughts, ideas, and solutions to our jury and experts from the academy and industry.

Download the assignment 2022

Download the results 2019

Download the assignment 2019

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Analytical chemistry

Basics of statistics

Database search

Literature search

Critical thinking and problem solving


Presentation skills

Jury members


Bobana Samardžija

Jury Member, University of Rijeka

Bobana Samardžija is currently working at the Research laboratory for the Biological Background of Mental Illnesses at the University of Rijeka. She also works as a teaching assistant and is in the second year of her postgraduate Ph.D. study in Medical Chemistry. She finished her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology and Drug Research and a degree in Drug Research and Development. Her research work has been presented at many international conferences, e.g. International Student Congress of (bio)Medical Sciences (ISCOMS) and the 2022 Congress of the Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS). Bobana Samardžija has volunteered at some student sports events: European University Games in Rijeka in 2016, World University Championship Handball in Rijeka in 2018, and EUSA EHF Beach Handball Championship in Zagreb in 2019. She has also participated at the STEM Games and has won second place in the Science Arena 2018, where she was a mentor one year later.

profilna 3

Marko Košiček

Jury Member, Ruđer Bošković Institute

He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb. He participated in numerous science popularization activities (Festival of Science, Scientific Picnic, RBI Open Day, European Researchers’ Night), and is also a host of the Third Element, a scientific show on the National TV (HRT3). He established the Society for Out-Of-Frame Education and is a long-time member of the organizing committee for the Summer School of Science for high-schoolers. He and his colleague Saša Ceci (RBI) were both awarded the State Award for Popularization and Science Promotion in the year 2014.


Mirta Smodlaka Tanković

Jury Member, Ruđer Bošković Institute

Dr. sc. Mirta Smodlaka Tanković is a research associate in the Center for Marine Research, Ruđer Bošković Institute. She has a Ph.D. in Oceanography and Marine Science with an extensive experience in the physiology of marine organisms with a research interest in ecology, genetics, and taxonomy of phytoplankton. Her focus in research and monitoring projects is marine litter and microplastic, as well marine organisms' physiology as a response to natural and anthropogenic pressure with a high interest in phytoplankton community ecological changes in the marine environment due to the physiological adaptation. Dr. sc. Smodlaka Tanković leads many different national and international projects and cooperates with them. She is also an author of scientific papers, expert reports, and mentored students' thesis, and is very active in science dissemination and popularization.



Josip Draženović

Science arena, Ruđer Bošković Institute

Josip Draženović earned his undergraduate and a graduate degree in Chemistry at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb. He won a Dean’s award in both studies, just like the Rector’s award for individual work. In 2020, he found a job at the Ruđer Bošković Insititute in the Synthetic Organic Chemistry Laboratory. Josip Draženović analyzes photochemical processes in organic molecules. He is very active in transferring knowledge to new young generations that participate in the chemistry Olympics. In his spare time, Josip likes to hang out with his family and friends, take walks in nature, and watch movies.


Katarina Mandić

Science arena, Ruđer Bošković Institute

Katarina Mandić has finished her degree in Molecular Biotechnology at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology. She is currently working on her Ph.D. at the Institute Ruđer Bošković in the Machine Learning Laboratory as a part of the bioinformatics group where she does cool analysis of biological data. Katarina’s most important secondary thing in the world is softball.


Lucija Hok

Science arena, Faculty of Science

Lucija Hok has finished her degree in Pharmacy at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry in Zagreb. In 2019 she started working at the Institute Ruđer Bošković and has enrolled herself in the Ph.D. study in Chemistry at the Faculty of Science. She is occupied with computer chemistry which methods she likes to use for researching biological systems, especially the important ones in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, she analyses the effect of structural modifications of ligands on the affinity of the biological targets, whose goal is to find efficient drugs. She spends her spare time reading and volunteering.


Maja Mitrović

Science arena, Ruđer Bošković Institute

Maja Mitrović has finished her undergraduate and a graduate degree in Biology (orientation: Science) at the Faculty of Science in Osijek. She is currently working as a doctoral student/assistant at the Institute Ruđer Bošković in Zagreb. As a part of her job, she is attending the Ph.D. study associated with biotechnology and bioprocess engineering at the Faculty of Science. Her primary work is microbial ecology and bioinformatics. Her main interest is the possibility to adapt life to extreme conditions by applying main metabolic processes that are globally important, e.g. nitrogen cycle. She studies them in the laboratory by methods of cultivation and imitating in situ conditions. Maja is a big Harry Potter fan and likes to spend her spare time playing tennis and keeping up with football.


Marin Volarić

Science arena, Ruđer Bošković Institute

Marin Volarić has finished his undergraduate and a graduate study in Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb, whose theme is related to the application of machine learning in solving biological problems. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Molecular Bioscience in Osijek and is an Assistant at the Institute Ruđer Bošković in the Laboratory for Uncoded DNA. His main focus of the current research is based on the applications of statistical methods to complexity and dimensionality of epigenetic data reduction, and on the development of new algorithms for applications in data processing that are being derived from sequencing technologies of the third generation.