New phase of Science Journey is under way


04 January 2008 New phase of Science Journey is under way Cutting edge intelligent laboratories are being installed in eight junior high schools the latest phase in World ORTs Kadima Mada (Science Journey) programme aimed at raising the quality of science and technology education in Israel. The laboratories use the Nova system of data loggers and sensors which record, collate and present data so that students can focus their attention on conducting the experiments and interacting with their teacher. World ORT has supplied similar laboratories to some of the senior high schools in 30 Israeli municipalities under earlier phases of Kadima Mada, said World ORT Director General Robert Singer. By directing this fourth phase of the programme at junior high schools we hope to encourage younger children to choose scientific and technological subjects when they specialise later on in their education. The CSLs are part of World ORTs strategy to increase the number of science and technology students in Israel by 10 per cent each year and so help the Jewish State maintain its world-leading position in high-tech fields. Working in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, World ORT has been channelling assistance to areas identified as being in need. Phase 4 of Kadima Mada continues this policy by supplying the Computerised Science Laboratories (CSLs) to schools that are unable to adapt due to a lack of financial and pedagogical resources: Kfar HaNoar Hadati Educational Village in the Lower Galilee, two junior high schools on the Rogozin campus in Kiryat Atta, the Ofek Junior High School in Mateh Asher, Shibli Junior High in Lower Galilee, Western Galilee Junior High in Maale Yosef, Einot Yarden Junior High in Upper Galilee, and Nesher Junior High. The $790,000 project, in which World ORTs investment is matched by funds from the municipalities, harmonises World ORTs work in Israel, said the Head of the World ORT Representative Office in Israel, Rony Kalinsky. This new phase of Kadima Mada complements earlier stages of the programme because the schools we are helping are feeder institutions to the senior high schools weve already been helping for a year. But the benefits are broader than awakening an interest in science among younger students: these junior high schools have been hit hard by budget cuts in recent years and our support will help to create more stable communities by providing educational standards that remove the need for parents to move home in search of the best school for their children, Mr Kalinsky said. In addition to the high-tech equipment, World ORT is providing teacher training in leading academic institutions and pedagogical support. Teacher training will cover the core curriculum subjects of physics, chemistry and biology and will ensure that teachers are able to use the equipment in a way that maximises the pedagogical advantages to be gained, Mr Kalinsky said.