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Petnica Science Centre - Innovative Support to gifted Students and Ethusiastic Teachers

By Vigor Majic

Petnica is the name of a small village on the beautiful hills of Western Serbia. There in 1982 a group of young people not satisfied with existing educational practice founded the Petnica Science Center (PSC) as new experimental institution. The main goal of the Center is to search for curious boys and girls, mostly high-school students in age group 14-18, who are highly motivated and interested in science, humanities, and new technologies much above the level of curricula in regular public schools. Using no marks, without rigid discipline,but with flexible programs, interactive teaching, with no regional, ethnical or social limits for students, with a young staff supported by a thousand enthusiastic scientists and teachers, the PSC is not just the focal point of Serbia and Montenegro complementary education, but is one of a very few attractive places in an impoverished and divided Balkans. Here, the young people can feel freedom, happiness, understanding, and the tidal waves of the new century. Parallel to the various types of students training programs, Petnica Center is very engaged in teacher training activities, servicing more than 500 primary and secondary schools in the region.