Split, Croatia

July 16th - July 28th, 2018

Rhizome Association

Rhizome Association is a community of like-minded individuals who believe the future of education should be based on active learning, skills development and interdisciplinary projects in science, arts and civic engagement. Rhizome Association, a non-profit organization founded by Tamara Milosevic and Omar Awile in France, will host diverse educational programs and interdisciplinary projects, bringing to everyone interested in collaborative learning a new approach of learning-by-doing, or project-based learning.


Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences is an independently funded, international, non-profit research institute located just a few steps from the sea, in Split, Croatia. MedILS is an international “renaissance” project created as a scientific and social experiment. Its primary goal is to breed a generation of young scientists: creative, multidisciplinary professionals trained to “think the unthinkable” and produce that kind of experiments. Teaching, learning, and brainstorming are a natural way of life on MedILS institute. The key “product” of MedILS will be a special kind of innovative and free minded scientists and projects. The mission of MedILS is to create a new original scientific culture in the studies of life and its manifestations, by implementing the world’s highest standards of scientific work, style and ethics.

A one of a kind teaching team

We are an enthusiastic team of teachers and mentors composed of former participants of the program and teachers who developed and tested the program.

Tamara Milosevic and Omar Awile are the principal teachers and designers of the Foundations workshop.
After her PhD in biology, Tamara designed innovative science courses (LabSprint, Biosensors, ...) and coordinated the Bachelor program Frontières du Vivant, University Paris Descartes, and designed pedagogical programs for Association Frateli, Paris, France. Currently she consults universities on the implementation of innovative teaching methods, and works on developing the Rhizome Association as its first president and co-founder.
Omar Awile obtained his PhD degree in 2013 from ETH Zurich in the field of high-performance computing. He has more than 10 years of experience in academia (EPFL, ETHZ, CERN) and industry (IBM, Intel) working on various topics at the intersection of computer science, natural sciences and engineering. He has been teaching computer science at ETHZ, MedILS and University Paris Descartes since 2009.

Active learning in an interdisciplinary environment

Foundations course stems from the five years of teaching experience at the University Paris Descartes. Before engulfing on exciting research projects in the interface of different scientific disciplines, we bring all learners the necessary basic knowledge and skills that they can immediately apply to answer scientific questions. Our course is a hybrid course, allowing flexibility through personal learning time and maximizing student-teacher interactions to develop essential skills and put the learned knowledge into practice. Check out our introductory videos and some of the projects students have been able to create using their knowledge and skills in science and engineering.


Rhizome Foundations 2018 has been made possible thanks to financial support of the Alcuin Fund managed by the King Baudouin Foundation. Furthermore we would like to thank the Mediterranean Institute of Life Sciences (MedILS) for their logistical support and in-kind donations. Finally we thank all our crowdfunding donors for their trust!