General scientific knowledge has become a vital tool, essential for becoming successfully integrated into modern society.
The Davidson Institute of Science Education, established in 2002, provides a continuation and expansion of Weizmann Institute activities in the area of science teaching. Since its establishment, the Davidson Institute has been examining innovative methods for promoting science education through the use of advanced technologies. It implements programs for all sectors of the society and offers special frameworks for the ongoing professional development of science teachers.
The "Perach" all-Israel tutoring program, currently administered by the Davidson Institute of Science Education, was launched at the Weizmann Institute in 1973. It enlists students from all the Israeli universities to serve as tutors to underprivileged youth who need intensive guidance and encouragement in their studies.
Each year, some 33,000 youngsters take part in activities organized by the Weizmann Institute’s Young@Science Section. These include a wide variety of activities for children, youth and the young-at-heart.
The “Science Mobile,” a teaching lab-in-a-van developed at the Weizmann Institute, visits schools and community centers in remote parts of Israel, introducing local youth to the entertaining and enjoyable aspects of learning scientific principles.
The Clore Garden of Science is at the center of the Institute’s annual Science Festival, a bustling and colorful celebration of science and technology featuring presentations, competitions, shows, workshops, observations, tours, lectures and demonstrations – all aimed at children and youth as well as at people of all ages curious about the world around us. Thousands of visitors attend the festival each year.
The Weizmann Institute’s Science Teaching Department works to raise the level of science education in junior and senior high schools within Israel’s education system. Department members design new curricula, experiment with future teaching methods, write textbooks (in Hebrew and Arabic), create games and interactive computer programs and implement special teacher training courses.
Mathematics curricula developed in the Science Teaching Department have been translated into English and adapted to the needs of the educational system in the United Kingdom, where they are being used at the cutting edge of mathematics teaching.
The Weizmann Institute makes a great effort to bring scientific information to the general public. In a friendly, easily accessible format, its Internet site, Weizmann Wonder Wander, http://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il, provides news from the laboratories of the Institute’s scientists, and its popular science publications and films vividly portray recent scientific innovations.