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21 Aug 2013 15:22 Age: 5 yrs
Category: News Update, Kadima Mada

Israeli teenagers enjoy a summer of science

World ORT is rounding off its summer of science in Israel with a week-long camp at the Weizmann Institute for selected students from its YOU-niversity programme.


The 80 teenagers from the Negev and Galilee are enjoying a variety of hands-on scientific workshops as well as lectures, access to laboratories, meetings with Weizmann scientists and visits to exhibitions – all designed to whet their appetite for learning.

All the teenagers are graduates of this year’s YOU-niversity program, which has provided quality extra-curricular courses to some 1,500 children in Kiryat Gat, Dimona, Tzfat, Nazareth and Nahariya.

“Those who showed persistence during the year, seriousness, and passion were selected for the summer camp based on the evaluation they received from their tutors and local You-niversity managers,” said Dr Ido Horresh, Director of the You-niversity Centers for Science and Technology.

“One of them told me how lucky she feels to finish the summer vacation with such a prestigious and well-planned camp… You have to remember that many of these children come from a relatively low socio-economic background and that this is the only summer activity they will have had because their parents can’t afford such things,” he added.

Last month, the summer of science kicked off with 25 conspicuously talented high schoolers starting a month of classes at Tel Aviv University, paid for by World ORT. The teenagers had attended occasional lectures at the YOU-niversity campuses in their hometowns but are due to return in the coming academic year as tutors. During their five-week stay at the university they learned with adult students and at the end sat exams to earn credits which can count towards any degree they decide to take at any institution anywhere in the world.

On the first day of this week’s summer camp, the students were divided into groups in which they studied the chemistry of cosmetics (and produced a fragrant hand cream), and took an in-depth look at the different physical states of matter.

Other activities include a tour of the new exhibition at the Weizmann Institute’s Science Garden, which features precise, life-size, moving replicas of dinosaurs. The children will be exposed to fascinating research and will be given explanations, demonstrations and hands-on experience from the cutting edge of modern science.

And they will scour the night sky from the Martin S. Kraar Observatory built on top of the service tower of the Weizmann’s landmark Koffler Accelerator building. The observatory was among the first in the world to image a supernova which exploded in a nearby galaxy in 2011. Who knows what our students will find?

“They are not only learning, they are having fun doing so. This is a practical recognition of their devotion to the YOU-niversity program and a powerful incentive to future YOU-niversity students to do their very best,” said Dr Horresh.