Current organizers

Nikolina Šoštarić
(S3 camp)

Dora Grbavac
(S3 camp)

Leonardo Pierobon
(S3++ camp)

Anna-Maria Križanac
(S3++ camp)

Current technical assistants

Mario Zelić
(S3 camp)

Grgur Šimunić
(S3++ camp)

Present organizers and technical assistants

Nikolina Šoštarić

Long time ago, as a child, Nikolina was amazed by the dinosaurs and would carefully follow each and every documentary about them that was shown on TV. She was amused by the thought that one day she’ll become a palaeontologist and search for new dinosaur species in Chile. It turned out quite differently though. She first became (and remained) fond of mathematics, and in the end realized that her true love is chemistry. This happened sometime during the additional chemistry classes in V. gymnasium that she attended. Everything else naturally followed: she decided to study chemistry at Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, where she obtained her BSc and MSc degrees. She developed a specific fondness for research of protein’s function and dynamics, and is now doing her PhD at KU Leuven, Belgium.

Her Summer School of Science story began in 2013 when she was asked to hold a swapshop at S3++. Although she was previously engaged in science popularization activities such as workshops within Magic in Science project and mentoring students in V. gymnasium, S3 experience was something completely new. She fell in love with the Summer School, especially its amazing atmosphere. She believes that for those few weeks the School is absolutely the best and most inspiring place in the world for young science enthusiasts. So she came back to lead a project at S3 2015, to organize S3 in year 2017, and is now back again in the role of S3 2018 organizer.

In her free time, Nikolina enjoys drawing, painting and making stuff, cooking new dishes, reading books, and travelling across Flanders and sometimes further.

Dora Grbavac

Dora has been showing a great amount of curiosity since her early childhood, constantly questioning and wondering why and how things happen, which has made her a really heavy kid to put up with. Although her love for science has started back then, she has become aware of it in the elementary school. Discovering the world of biology and chemistry was a real turning point in her life. She has started to participate in competitions and school projects where she has met her peers with the same interests.

She joined the Summer school of science in 2014, as a participant at the S3++ camp, and that is when she definitely confirmed her intention and desire to study molecular biology. But her story with the School was not finished in 2014, boosted by all the amazing experiences and wanting to bring back the energy and motivation she gained there, she came back in 2016 and 2017- as a swapshop leader and a technical assistant. Now she is organizing S3 2018.

Apart from studying, she tends to share her enthusiasm for science by participating in events such as Night of Biology and Summer Science Factory. She uses her free time to learn Spanish, do sports, travel or just hang out with her friends.

Leonardo Pierobon

The vastness of the universe fascinated Leonardo as a child, who fell in love with physics and astronomy through learning about black holes and the formation of stars and galaxies. As he grew older, Leonardo’s curiosity grew bigger, and he decided to study Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, where he had the opportunity to learn about all areas of science, whilst maintaining his focus on physics. His interests shifted, however, from unimaginably large cosmic expanses to unimaginably small nanoscopic sizes. This is why he is now pursuing his PhD in nanomagnetism at ETH Zurich, combining experiments and theory in order to investigate exciting new magnetic phenomena and make better magnets for energy conversion, cars and data storage.

Leonardo joined the Summer School of Science in 2016 as a leader of the project “The mystery of light – investigating how a photon can be at two different spots simultaneously”. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience, especially because he was able to share his enthusiasm and passion for science with young students who absorbed new information like a sponge. The most rewarding moments of the School for him were seeing his students’ eyes light up as they discovered something new – Leonardo believes moments like these inspire young people to become scientists. Seeing what an amazing experience the School is for them, he is honored to be co-organizer of the S3++ 2018.

Apart from science, Leonardo enjoys swimming, cycling and hiking. He is a real nature and animal lover and will be very glad to see pictures of your pets! Leonardo strongly embraces the diversity and tolerance of multinational environments and looks forward to the Summer School of Science and its strong international character.

Anna-Maria Križanac

Anna-Maria has always been fascinated and intrigued by the world around her. Her parents always encouraged her to be curious and to question things around her. At one point, however, things started to get out of hands when she began to ask innocent childish questions to which even adults did not know answers. Over the years, Anna-Maria has grown up, but she still asks a lot of questions. Sometimes, she even confuses Google!

As a child, Anna-Maria did not know that she would be on a path to become scientist. Instead, she considered other career paths, but eventually everything fell into the place and the decision, which has never been regretted, was made.

Anna-Maria is a relatively new member of the Summer School family as she joined in 2017. She was one of the project leaders working on the project “Ear in the wall”. Impressed and motivated by the whole event she has returned this year as one of the Co-organizers hoping she can transfer a part of her experience to participants hungry for knowledge and new challenges. Next to science, Anna-Maria enjoys getting lost in the worlds of adventures in books, cooking and traveling. As a fan of international cuisine, she always welcomes new recipes.

Mario Zelić

Mario has always been interested in everything in his surroundings. Deciding what to do in life has been one of his biggest problems. Since elementary school, he has been interested in chemistry, physics and biology. Newer additions to his interests are mathematics and programming. Seeing how everything is connected, Mario looked hard for a place where he could combine all his interests. In the end, he decided to study medicine because of the broadness of the field and many, many possibilities and chances later in life.

He became a part of the Summer School of Science as a participant of the S3 camp in 2015 and the S3++ camp in 2016. From the first day, he loved the concept of the School and wished to help and contribute as much as he could. This year he has an opportunity to be in a role of a technical assistant, so he is very excited to see what the Summer School is going to be like this year.

Mario is currently a first-year student of the Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb. In his spare time, he likes to read (everything, from classics to modern), play video games, watch movies and, go out for a walk to enjoy in the nature. He finds music the core part of his life, so his musical taste varies from classical to metal music.

Grgur Šimunić

Ever since he was a child, Grgur has been amazed by the world around him. He wondered how things happen and why they happen the way they do. Because of that, he fell in love with science, primarily physics, from the first moment he got into contact with it. He therefore decided to study physics at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, where something unexpected happened – one of his first-year professors showed him the beauty of mathematics. Even though Grgur had always been good at mathematics, he only saw it as a tool up to that point. From then on, however, he started to view it as a sort of a language with its own set of rules (you could call it grammar if you want) and purity no other scientific discipline exhibits. As a result, he obtained M.Sc. degree in physics with a special interest in mathematical physics.

Popularization of science entered Grgur’s life in 2015 when he became a workshop leader at the Summer School of Physics, where he returned in 2016 in the same role. Now he will join the Summer School of Science in Požega as a technical assistant in order to gain new experiences and help participants see the real beauty of science (and math).

Grgur is currently working towards his PhD degree at the Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb. He studies generalized complex geometry and its application to physics, e.g. double-field and string theories.

Past organizers and technical assistants

Sebastijan Dumančić

S3 2013, 2015 and 2017 organizer

Sebastijan has found his interest in science by reading Jules Verne's works, especially 20 000 miles under the sea. Unable to build his own Nautilus, he became interested in computer science, since he was raised up by two informaticians. After writing his first programs in Logo, he was convinced it was the right choise for him.

Sebastijan joined the Summer School of Science in summer of 2012 as project leader, in charge of a project about computer science and recognizing music taste. He was impressed with the motivating atmosphere and passion of young students and educators, so he decided to come back as an organizer. Until now, he has organized S3 camps in years 2013, 2015 and 2017. Previously, he was also a member of Young Gifted Mathematicians „Marin Getaldić“ and one of the organizers of Young Mathematicians Summer Camp.

He is currently a PhD student at KU Leuven, Belgium. His main research interests are in the field of machine learning - computer algorithms that teach themselves how to solve a particular problem. He is particulary interested in modelling unobserved aspects of such problems. In his free time, Sebastijan enjoys travelling, cooking and reading.

Petra Krznar

S3 2015, S3++ 2013 and 2017 organizer

When Petra was a child, her mother said – ‘When you find a career that you really like, it is like you won a jackpot!’ When she started studying molecular biology, Petra really won a jackpot because she found something that fulfilled her. During her studies, Petra had different interests, ranging from cell biology and biochemistry to biophysics and computational biology. Nowadays she is at ETH Zurich, doing her PhD in systems biology, trying to disentangle mitochondrial dysfunction by metabolomics.

Popularization of science has become a part of Petra's life after the first year of the Night of Biology in 2009. After hearing some awesome stories about the Summer School of Science, she was introduced to the School in the same year, by doing a workshop on homemade DNA isolation. Petra was quite astonished by the spirit of the School, people that worked there and the enthusiasm of the high school students. In 2012 she returned to the School with her own project at S3++, and twice as an organizer - S3++ in 2013 and S3 in 2015. In year 2017 she was back once more to meet new enthusiasts and inspire new generations to find their inner scientists.

When she has some free time on her hands, Petra enjoys reading (mostly fantasy) books, which aid her in the invention of new worlds and mysteries for popular role-playing DnD game, as well as playing other board games or travelling.

Matija Žeško

S3++ 2017 organizer

Science is a newer addition to Matija's life, as he didn't decide to pursue it until University. A long time ago, Matija studied Latin and Greek, he was good at it and liked it to a degree that it was what he wanted to study and do for the rest of his days. Fortunately, Matija also had a very good Greek teacher who told him that she would behead him if he did that because she saw a potential for natural sciences. And she was right. Matija is now a Master of Physics working towards a PhD at ETH Zurich and having worked at CERN previously. His field of research is manipulation of the motion of highly-excited atoms using electric and magnetic fields.

The Summer School of Science in Požega entered his life last year through his co-organiser Petra. She introduced him to the Summer School and he became a Project Leader in 2016. The experience of leading a team of young scientists and inspiring them all to pursue a PhD made him see the value this school has to offer to everyone. This year he is back in an increased capacity - leading the school and making sure that everyone has the best science-filled summer.

He also hasn't forgotten the humanities. He is actively engaged in Model United Nations in Zurich where he organises the local conference. He also volunteers in the local "Room to Read" chapter working in a team which is raising funds to improve education in third-world countries. In his free time, Matija enjoys learning languages, reading, and travelling.

Matilda Maleš

S3++ 2015 and 2016 organizer

Unlike today, as a kid Matilda watched a lot of TV. Fortunately for her, TV had something to offer back then, and one her favourite shows was “Il etais une fois la vie”. This everlasting French cartoon, telling the story about human body and all those invisible amazing processes that are going on in there, made her want to learn more about the minute world of molecules and chemicals that surround us. During high school, thanks to her biology and chemistry teachers, her love for science was sparked even more, so she decided to study at Faculty of Sciences. She finished her BSc in Molecular Biology at University of Zagreb, after which she moved to Germany to do her MSc at the University of Heidelberg. Currently, she is a PhD student in genomics at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, trying to find out what is the importance of the maysterious non-coding genome in the embryonic development.

Matilda has been a part of S3 family for a very long time now, eversince 2006. She first came to the School as a high school student, and then kept coming back in various roles from swapshop leader, random visitor, technical support, project leader… She also took part in other science popularization events such as Night Of Biology and Paris-Montagne. Knowing how much inspiration and motivation one can get from the Summer School, she accepted the tough job of the organizer without hesitation. She is looking forward to meeting new bright minds and science enthusiasts, and bringing them all together at this very special Summer School.

Jelena Tica

S3++ 2015 and 2016 organizer

For Jelena it all started even before primary school. While loving to watch TV and cartoons, Jelena’s thorough obsession were documentaries, especially ones by David Attenborough. She also enjoyed putting puzzles together, usually making it more challenging by turning the pieces upside down. As she went to school, biology and math grew up on her and she especially got interested in human diseases and parasites. What better way to combine the passion for solving problems and natural phenomena than by learning more about these things? Although she was hesitant towards which program to enroll to, she decided to combine the passion for math and human biology by becoming a student at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, where she obtained her B.Sc and M.Sc in Molecular Biology. She recently finished her PhD at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL Heidelberg) in a field of genomics. Although she considers herself to be a molecular biologist, she spends most of her time sitting in front of a computer screen performing computational analyses on large genetic variations found within and between different populations. In her free time Jelena likes to read a lot, watch movies, write her beauty blog and travel.

Jelena joined the Summer School of Science two years ago for the first time as a project leader, and of course completely fell in love with the whole project, people and the enthusiasm spreading all over the place. When she got the opportunity to organize last and subsequently, this year's Summer School, she jumped in without hesitation, despite knowing that it will present a big challenge. Even though she is a relatively new member of the Summer School family, Jelena was always inspired to take part in teaching and promoting science as much as she could through various outreach activities, such as Night Of Biology and EMBL School Ambassador program. This year she cannot wait to see all those new and fresh faces in Požega and share this special experience with them.

Edi Topić

S3 2016 organizer

Edi already fell in love into science at elementary school, thanks to the irresistible need to blow something up and very tolerable parents. From the first burnt eyebrows to the first successful rocket engine, Edi has compensated the lack of knowledge about highly energetic materials with loads of scientific books. That is how the passion for chemistry and science was born.

Edi joined the S3 in 2013. as a project leader at a project which dealt with synthesis and charachterisation of polymers and in 2014. as a project leader at a project which dealt with hydrogen bonds. Because of exquisite impressions and unsurpassable students, he decided to join in as organiser this year. This school provides unique boost for students who prefer science, but also one-of-the-kind experience for project leaders who want to promote science among younger generations. Also, Edi is a leader of popularisation project „Entropy“ which promotes chemistry among elementary and high school students.

Edi is currently student at Chemical division of Faculty of Science, Zagreb, among which he explores processes of crystallization of pharmaceuticaly active substances. Besides that, he adores to manufacture pyrotechnics, flow into rocket engineering (either in computer simulation or in real world) and make jet engines or anything that rumbles, roars or gives out flames.

Mislav Omerbašić

S3 2016 organizer

Discovering Chemistry at 13 years old and being presented with various experiments with plants and animals in Biology, Mislav quickly became enthused in science. Throughout high school his interest in natural sciences only expanded, as well as his desire to discover new things. His parents home became a makeshift laboratory for a time, which his mother condoned despite her fears that she might find his white mice under her bed.

When he was 16 he participated in the Multilateral Comenius Project allowing him the opportunity to gain working experience with students in different countries. In 2011 Mislav came to Summer School of Science as a participant. Realising how much of a positive influence it had on him, he decided to continue in 2013 as a swapshop leader, and in 2014 he led a project. The popularization of science is something he is passionate about, so he participated in Science Picnic, teaching young students how to isolate DNA from fruit. Mislav is eager to share and gain new experiences this year during the School, with new faces but the same old glow for science.

Now he is a fourth-year student at the School of Medicine in Zagreb. His main interest is the connection between medicine and molecular sciences, especially on a cellular level, and the application of new discoveries in treating human diseases. In his free time he enjoys watching movies, reading books and hanging out with friends.

Monika Majstorović

S3++ 2017 techincal assistant

Monika gave more serious thought on going into science after participating in Summer School of Science in Požega in 2013. Before that she had many interests, the biggest being music. She went to Music School and planned on going to Music Academy. Few months before the end of high school she had a change of heart and chose to study Mathematics at Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Zagreb. What she loves the most about Math is the purity that comes with proofs and beauty that emerges from a human mind when an idea for solving a particular problem occurs.

After participating in S3++ camp in high school, she returned after her freshman year as a swapshop leader in 2015 and this year she is back as a technical assistant.

In her free time she plays oboe and dreams of having a bunch of cats. (In the picture on the left you can see her with a random cat she stumbled upon on the streets one day...)

Dunja Vučenović

S3++ 2016 techincal assistant

Dunja loved solving crosswords and puzzles during childhood. Later her passion shifted to solving mathematical problems and equations and was sure that her future will revolve around mathematics and computational biology. During her last year in primary school she won the second place on state competition in maths and as prize, won a chance to take part in Summer School of Science. There she took a part in a project whose aim was to transform bacteria with fluorescent proteins. Participating in this school opened her doors into a new world of biological sciences which changed her life dramatically. After, she participated in three more summer schools, every time meeting peers with similar interests and working on projects from various scientific fields. In the end she decided that computational biology is the filed that interests her the most. She finished BSc and MSc in Molecular Biology at University of Zagreb and now is perusing a PhD in regulatory genomics at Imperial College London, working on a project that is looking at combinatorial regulation of gene expression during the embryonic development.

Dunja believes that because of good science popularization, her life path changed and that’s the reason she tries to do the same thinking that she might influence others. She took various roles in organization of open days of her former faculty (“Noc Biologije”) as well as volunteering on Science Festival organized by Imperial College. In 2015 she came back to S3 as project leader. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and experimenting with exotic ingredients as well as travelling and spending time in nature.

Petra Bucić

S3++ 2016 techincal assistant

My story with science has started a long time ago when I was still a child, I just haven’t known that then. As I learned to count I started to look for patterns around me, in licence plates, tiles, really everywhere you can look I could find a mystery of numbers and shapes, and I still enjoy a good mystery series or novel. As I grow up I found out that science is a grate tool for solving mysteries and put your curiosity in a good use, and that is how I decided to become an engineer. So, I am now a student at Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, and studying to become an electrical engineer.

I joined the Summer School of Science family as a participant in summer of 2013, and after that I just knew I have to come back. So two years later, as I just finished my first year in college, I came back as a Swapshop leader. It was a great experience, everyone was so friendly, enthusiastic and creative and the atmosphere was even better then I remembered. From there my motivation for teaching and promoting science just grew, I became more active in college where I am a demonstrator in several classes and I volunteered at Night of Science. When I was offered a place as a technical assistant at this year’s Summer school I jumped right in, and was ready for a new challenge and lots of new great people to share this experience with.