Fifty years of international summer science

The Dr. Bessie Fr. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute at a half century

Students

Date: March 18, 2019

Every summer since 1969, around 80 highly talented, high school graduates preparing to enter their first year in college attend the Bessie Lawrence International Summer Science Institute. This month-long program, conducted in English and open to youth from anywhere in the world, involves intensive lab work, lectures on the Weizmann Institute campus, and social activities and tours throughout Israel.

This highly selective program—now in its 50th year—admits students in a process conducted by Weizmann Institute global committees. Projects are offered in the fields of biochemistry, biology, chemistry, mathematical and computer sciences, and physics. Students work in labs with sophisticated equipment and senior Weizmann Institute scientists, who also offer lectures on topics such as robotics, gene therapy, and brain research. Students are encouraged to lead seminars on subjects of their choosing and present their findings.

After three weeks in Rehovot, the group moves to the Judean Desert and the Negev, where expert guides from the Sde Boker Field School introduce them to Israel's unique ecosystem and wildlife, and lead hikes and excursions that offer overviews in history and archaeology. The program is a special way to experience Israel at its best and make connections that last a lifetime.