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After winning the third national  programming competition on micro:bit devices, we had the opportunity to speak with the mentor of the winning team - Sanja Čolaković Šišević. We discussed the project with which the elementary school "Vladimir Nazor" presented itself at the competition, what this kind of project means for the children and what their plans for the regional competition are.

Can you tell us more about the project you won the national competition with - what was it about, how did the kids react?

The winter is the most critical time for many species to survive, especially because of the lack of food that is rare and often covered with snow. We decided to implement with the help of a micro:bit Winter Bird Shelter. We are witnessing that many birds also die in national parks because they do not have the necessary protection from humans when they need it the most.


The purpose of the project is to protect the resident birds in the winter (with the modification of the cottages it can also serve to protect other animals). This project would be beneficial at the municipal, state and global level. Potential users are urban and rural areas, as well as national parks where shelters would be built for endangered species and bird protection.


The number of sparrows is decreasing and the ecosystem is severely disrupted by reducing their numbers. We have noticed that the region is raising awareness of their threat, but we have not seen that there is an adequate solution for them and for all endangered species.

Our state is endowed with one of the largest bird reserves of National Park Skadar Lake, we came up with the idea to point out through this project the fact that we can protect birds in a better way. We expect from this project that it will awaken awareness among individuals, institutions and authorities that can act in this area. We want to show how much modern times can provide a better quality of life for not only humans but also birds.

As a mentor, I can say that I am pleased with their dedication, cooperation, teamwork, confidence and freedom to express opinions and come up with new ideas. They have developed a competitive spirit and excitement about new competition, desire for progress and new challenges.


The smart bird house solution is a sustainable system that aims to conserve bird stocks, but this type of house is also feasible and can be implemented to protect other animals. Such shelters could be made for animals close to humans (dogs, cats) as well as for wildlife. The cottage at first glance is one beautifully designed bird habitat, however this cottage is more than that. A great deal of automation is displayed in this cottage. The door of the house, the feeder, the drinker as well as the temperature maintenance system are automated and all four systems operate with the help of micro:bit devices. By installing solar panels, the cottage is sustainable. Homes like this could also be used for various animal research and monitoring by installing cameras.

The children responded positively to this great challenge for them. They were happy to accept the idea of this project and were looking forward to every workshop. They sought to improve the project, develop critical thinking, find solutions to new situations, and seek the assistance of the coordinator and other associates. 

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OŠ "Vladimir Nazor"

How has the 21st Century Schools programme affected school life and students? Has it refined and made learning more interesting?

Students learned a new way of solving problems, modern methods of work, we refined the teaching and gave it a more creative approach. The 21st Century Schools is a great challenge for students, it has encouraged them to think of programming as a contemporary problem solver, but also to come up with new ideas and give their opinions about them.

Certainly, this way of learning is refined and interesting, as students are largely following the new challenges and trends offered by modern technology. They realized that there were solutions to realize their ideas.

Amplitudo company offered to prepare children and advance projects for regional competition.

We contacted Amplitudo and agreed about supporting and assistance in the presentation of the project. We hope it will be of help to us, because every piece of advice means a lot to us.

Collaboration between real companies (the real sector) and the education sector is very important, but as far as this project is concerned, given that this conceptual solution we were not able to cooperate with real companies. But we hope that the Winter Smart Shelter for Birds or some other animals will come to raise awareness with real companies and embrace their application.

What next, is another project prepared, are the kids more motivated, more interested after winning?

We are going to a regional competition with the same project that we will try to perfect, make sustainable and present in the best possible way. For now, our thoughts are focused on this competition and the best possible placement, and ideas exist and with the motivation and interest of the children I hope that the next competitions will bring similar results. We thank the British Council in cooperation with the Ministry of Education for the opportunity.