Beyond the ivory tower
Celebrating 50 years of science education
A half-century has passed since the birth of the first youth science programs at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and today dozens of programs for students, teachers, and the wider public play a major role in the mission of advancing and enriching science education in Israel.
The 50-year milestone was marked in a special celebration at the Davidson Institute for Science Education during the International Board in November.
The session was led by Prof. Haim Harari (pictured at left), former President of the Weizmann Institute and current Chairman of the Board of the Davidson Institute. “When you think of every area of life, wherever you go, whichever profession you pursue, you need a certain basic level of science knowledge…. The Weizmann Institute understood that early on, many years ago,” he said. “The best investment in the future is in science and science education, and that is what we have done here.”
The Institute’s very origins as the initiative of the scientist-statesman Dr. Chaim Weizmann set in motion the Institute’s strong emphasis on making science an integral part of public life. Since then, the Weizmann Institute has led the way in Israel in advancing science literacy through countless programs and initiatives that have touched a large portion of the Israeli populace.
The session featured short talks by students and graduates of the Arrow-Young Researchers program; the Sparks of Science Program in Memory of Moshe Pergament; the Weizmann-Rothschild Program for Excellence in Science Teaching; and Perach, a nationwide mentoring program that offers university students a stipend in exchange for assisting underprivileged children with their studies. Perach was the brainchild of Rony Attar, then a Weizmann Institute graduate student, and Prof. Harari.
Prof. Haim Harari
One of the many projects sponsored by the Davidson Institute of Science Education