Teaming up with Technion to help Kiryat Yam


29 March 2007 World ORT and Technion team up to help Kiryat Yam World ORT has teamed up with the internationally renowned Technion Israel Institute of Technology to provide a mathematics enrichment programme for children from Kiryat Yam. The week-long programme is a taste of a major new education project planned by Technion and World ORT next year to help raise standards at Kiryat Yam, a relatively impoverished town just north of Haifa. At the moment, many children in Kiryat Yam apply for places at high schools in neighbouring, wealthier districts with better educational provision, said the World ORT Representative in Israel, Dr Gaby Meyassed. Our objective is to raise standards in Kiryat Yam so that the children will want to stay in their hometown. This weeks programme saw more than 30 bright children spend their mornings learning advanced mathematical principles through deceptively playful activities. The kids had a good time; they were so happy it was well worth it, said the Head of Technions Department of Education in Science and Technology, Professor Avi Berman. At one point the Mayor of Kiryat Yam came to see how the programme was going and it was noticeable that, while the children were polite and respectful to him, they went back to their activities as quickly as possible. They didnt want to stop. Young students at Technion. The $450,000 programme, financed by American philanthropists D. Dan and Betty Kahn, will start next year. It will see new science and technology equipment brought to Kiryat Yam as well as close collaboration between Technion professors and school teachers in how to improve current education provision. There will also be special activities in Kiryat Yam and Technion for the children involving undergraduate students who have received special training, said Professor Berman. These will cover the full range of disciplines at Technion, including engineering, robotics, the sciences and technology as well as mathematics. But we will also help younger children develop learning skills such as how to ask questions. It is hoped that many of the children who participated in this weeks programme will enrol in next years programme when registration takes place next week, together with many others who have heard about the bright future awaiting Kiryat Yam. Im happy that were doing this because its a good opportunity for us to contribute and to learn by doing it, Professor Berman said. Its a very important project. As we say in Hebrew, Take care of the poor because from them wisdom will come. Education should not only belong to rich people. Kiryat Yam is not a prosperous place and the best investment one can make is in children and their education. All types of education were important, Professor Berman said, but there were good reasons to focus on science. Science gives them a good path into higher education and for them to do well for themselves and for the country. Founded in 1924, the Technion is Israels oldest university and is now at the forefront of the global network of science and technology teaching and research. More than two-thirds of the founders and managers of Israels high-tech industries are Technion graduates. World ORT is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation and has benefited more than 3 million people Jewish and non-Jewish in 100 countries since its foundation in 1880.