One of the core aims of Mensa is the identification and fostering of human intelligence. In support of this aim many National Mensa groups have gifted and talented support programs. These provide assistance, resources and support to teachers and parents in their work to develop the potential of gifted children and young people. Most countries with a Mensa chapter coordinate activities for children and students and/or their parents. These may include outings, weekend programs, newsletters, competitions, games, even camps. Mensa has an international Gifted Youth Committee, which gathers and disseminates ideas and strategies worldwide through the Mensa. Some of the highlights are included below:
The Logic Olympiad
The Logical Olympiad, held yearly in the Czech Republic, is an exceptional competition because it is not based on learned knowledge but on logical thinking.
The main aims of the competition are to lead children to think logically and to offer them an opportunity to compete with others across the country, and also to stimulate a desire to think. The competition also serves to detect and identify intellectually gifted children whose hidden talents have not yet been recognised, and offers Mensa activities to all competing children.
The competition is very popular among children and students, with the number of participants rising every year. More than 60,000 participants from more than 3,000 schools registered for the 10th year of Logical Olympiad in 2017.
The Nikola Tesla Centre
The NTC learning system is a specialized program for the development of overall child potentials, created by Mensa Serbia members Ranko Rajović and Uroš Petrović. The program is primarily a practical implementation of new discoveries from the fields of neuroscience and pedagogy in classrooms and everyday life. It aims to develop creativity and functional knowledge in children. Play, as an intrinsic need of the child, represents the key factor of NTC Program implementation, within which NTC methods resemble play, and children learn in a natural way without pressure; in this way, learned material is more easily acquired and retained. The three implementation phases of the NTC Program encompass the sensory-motor and cognitive development of children.
Today, the NTC Program has been implemented in seventeen European countries, seven of which have been accredited by the appropriate Ministry of Education (Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina). In the other other ten (Italy, Greece, Sweden, Iceland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Slovakia and Sierra Leone), Mensa groups are conducting the program in collaboration with those countries' respective educational institutions.
N.B. In 2015, the author of the program, Ranko Rajović, won a prestigious award from the Mensa Foundation for Intellectual Benefits to Society. He has published four books which have been translated into several languages: Czech, Croatian, Slovenian, Romanian, Serbian, and English.
More details about the NTC Program are available here: www.ntclearning.com
The Mensa Grammar School
The Mensa Grammar School in Prague focuses on educating gifted children using individual approaches which contain a variety of modern methods. Mensa Czech organizes conferences and seminars for teachers and school principals, often in conjunction with the Ministry of Education. These feature both theoretical and practical lectures on gifted-related topics.