Full STEAM ahead: ORT brings Israeli innovation and interactive technology to life at US summer camps


Building on the success of last year’s initial program, this summer ORT will again introduce campers at six Jewish summer camps in the United States to the vibrancy of Israeli innovation.

From July 8 more than 700 campers between the ages of nine and 13 will take part in ORT’s Start-up Challenge, which includes interactive educational activities focused on science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM) that embrace the entrepreneurial spirit of Israel’s Start-up Nation.

There are six participating camps in Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

Participants at ORT’s programs at last year’s summer camps in the US

Avi Ganon, World ORT Director General and CEO, said: “The Start-up Challenge will provide hundreds of campers with an extraordinary opportunity to find out more about science, technology and Israeli culture in a fun and interactive setting.

“The project is a perfect example of how ORT reaches across borders to benefit students, educators and communities – in this case uniting educators and experts from Israel with youngsters in the US.”

Through problem-solving, creative thinking, teamwork and tournaments, ORT will teach critical 21st century skills as campers build robots, experience virtual reality, understand coding, learn biology, physics and chemistry through hands-on experiments, and capture all the action in their own digitally-designed videos.

David Or-Lev, World ORT’s Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Instructor, said: “The children are fascinated by their encounter with an instructor from Israel and the information they are exposed to about the country – including life in Israel, technology and entrepreneurship.

“They soak it all in, and compare the content they learn through this experience with their previous impressions about Israel and the information they have learned throughout their lives in the United States.”

Howard Lanznar, Chairman of ORT America, added: “Israel is a world leader in the field of technological entrepreneurship and innovation, and as Israel’s largest, leading provider of informal experiential science and technological education, ORT is shaping the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs.

“We are delighted to be able to bring this experience to Jewish summer camps throughout the US. This program brings our mission of impact through education to life by embracing Israel’s culture as a Start-up Nation, and simultaneously providing campers with the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of ORT’s 139 years of educational experience in interactive, practical learning.”