Maker Spotlight: Sanja Pavlovic Sijanovic

Maker News
Maker Spotlight: Sanja Pavlovic Sijanovic

This maker spotlight was brought to us through Maker Faire Rome.  You’ll be able to find Sanja and many more creative and exciting makers at Maker Faire Rome: The European Edition on October 18-20. Get your tickets now!

Who are you?
Sanja Pavlovic Sijanovic

Where are you located?
Vukovar, Croatia, European Union (EU)

What is your day job?
I am a computer science teacher in a local high school Gymnasium Vukovar where I work full time.

What makerspace/hackerspace/fablab do you attend if any?
So far, as mentor to the students, I participated in several manifestations and competitions throughout the Europe, such as:

  • On Arduino day, March 16th 2019. in Milan, Italy while celebrating the Birthday of Arduino we participated in the Community Challenge contest and won the World Arduino Day Community Challenge in the category Kids & Education with the project Vukovar – “Our view of smart living” which is a mockup of what a technological future could look like.
  • The “IDEA OF THE YEAR COMPETITION” – organized by, a competition for high school students where they present projects which had to include entrepreneurship idea to sell the innovation. At that competition we took the second place. (the link is in Croatian language, sorry, they don’t have it in English). This competition was held in Zagreb on May4th 2019.
  • INOVA YOUTH (International Invention Show) – organized by the Association of Inventors Zagreb where we took the first place for the project: Vukovar – our view of smart living. This competition was held in Zagreb, Croatia on May 5th 2019.
  • Generation Next competition by Croatian Telekcom on June 3rd 2019. In Zagreb, Croatia, where we took the first place with the same project that is coming to Rome Maker Faire.
  • IDEA KNOCKOUT 2019. – It’s about to take place on September 26th 2019., also in Zagreb, Croatia.
  • MAKER FAIR ZAGREB – It’s about to take place on October 12th and 13th 2019.

What kinds of stuff do you make?
I am a computer science teacher at the local high school Gymnasium Vukovar where I together with the other teacher Davor Sijanovic, work and teach the students how to be innovative and creative by using Arduino, Micro.bit, Little bits and Lego Mindstorms components to solve various IoT situations that you can find in a real life.

What links would you like included?
For example, we create projects and make models as you can see in the links below:

Smart city:

YouTube player


Earthquake detector in real time:

YouTube player



How did you get started making stuff?
We always try to implement something new and innovative for our students, but the only way to get some equipment and funding is to look for calls for a tender for projects. In 2018, we were selected for funding for a project called: “Generation Next” by Croatian Telekom and the Institute for Youth Development and Innovativity (IRIM) .

Through this project we received our first Arduino sets and some financial support.

What is something you’ve made that really stands out, that you’re proud of?
So far, as I mentioned above, we made two great and both winning projects which gave us courage to go ahead work on some new projects.

What do you have on your horizon?
Currently, we are developing some new ideas and projects, but at this point they are still kept a secret.

What is something you’d like to work with but haven’t yet?
We would like to try some new electronics components other than Arduino made by a young Croatian inventor Albert Gajsak. He developed a compatible board called

Any advice for people reading this?
By our example, we wanted to send a message to the students and young people that regardless of the initial excuses, such as:

  • lack of experience,
  • lack of support,
  • lack of knowledge,
  • being from a small school, town and a country,
  • the initial fear of failure and competition,
  • all young people should keep their heads up and be persistent in overcoming these obstacles,

or never the less to the contrary, take them as the additional motivation to help them draw the courage and give them the strength for taking the first steps into the unknown and the unpredictable, because the most important of all are the goodwill, imagination and great idea.

What links would you like included?
Arduino day Community Challenge winner announcement:

YouTube player

where we were Internationally published:


Arduino Smart Living Project and Winner of Arduino Day Community Challenge :: Student Project


The link for the winning Generation Next project, but in Croatian.



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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at

View more articles by Caleb Kraft