For the love of science
Large turnout for Israel Science Week
Prof. Leeor Kronik explains tunneling microscopes to high-schoolers
Love: What scientific significance does it have? It is an evolutionary driver, facilitating the transfer of genes to future generations—and it is at the core of some of the most crucial decisions we take in life.
When Dr. Liat Yakir of the Davidson Institute of Science Education relayed this concept and the evolutionary value of sexual reproduction to her high school-aged audience during Israel Science Week in March, her audience was fully alert.
At the Shimon Ben-Zvi High School in Givatayim, Dr. Noga Zilkha, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Tali Kimchi of the Department of Neurobiology, spoke to 9th grade students about the neurological foundations for social behavior, mainly the neurological differences between males and females, maternal behavior, aggression and sex drive in males, and social group behavior.
These were only two of the well-attended lectures on a broad range of topics by more than 200 scientists and Weizmann Institute students who fanned out to schools across Israel on March 22 to kick-start Israel Science Week. They talked to students about innovative research, the relevance of science in our everyday lives, and the ‘eureka’ moment when a secret of nature reveals itself to a scientist. The week-long series of events was spearheaded by the Weizmann Institute in celebration of its half-century milestone of advancing science education for schools and the public. The events were aimed at encouraging students to choose scientific study tracks in high school and university.
Additional events included the final round of the 20th Shalhevet Freier International Safe Cracking Tournament and an interactive space-themed happening in cooperation with SpaceIL, the Israeli civilian initiative to land an unmanned spaceship on the moon. In addition, the 11th National Final Science Projects Conference was held, resulting in the selection of a winning delegate to represent Israel at the Young Scientists Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, in December.
Other activities included the award ceremony for excellent mentors of the nationwide PERACH mentoring program and a symposium for teachers on innovations in science and science teaching.
Dr. Tali Kimchi is funded by The Nella and Leon Benoziyo Center for Neurological Diseases, Murray H. & Meyer Grodetsky Center for Research of Higher Brain Functions, The Joan and Jonathan Birnbach Family Laboratory Fund, Abisch Frenkel Foundation for the Promotion of Life Sciences, Peter and Patricia Gruber Awards, Mike and Valeria Rosenbloom through the Mike Rosenbloom Foundation, Harris Foundation for Brain Research, Estate of Fannie Sherr. Dr. Kimchi is the incumbent of the Jenna and Julia Birnbach Family Career Development Chair.