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Booklet on STEM 2017

Foreword

The A. Ofri International Training Center (METC) was established in 1989 as a professional educational training affiliated with MASHAV-Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, a department within the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since its establishment, METC has trained thousands of education professionals from all over the world, equipping them with the knowledge, expertise and experience cultivated over the course of the state of Israel’s own development process, and shared by top experts in the fields of education and social development. Through the sharing of Israeli know-hows and expertise in these fields, METC invests in human resource enrichment and capacity building in order to contribute to global efforts to achieve social, economic, and environmental sustainable development.

 

The last decade ushered in changes in the way we understand education, and its relation to life and the environment around us. Upon primary education completion, a student often emerges from the education system facing a complex and integrative reality that does not necessarily reflect the one that he/she was exposed to in the classroom during school. As a result, it was imperative to find the means to bridge the gap between these two worlds by introducing educational practices that integrate the interdisciplinary aspects of life, and reflect the world that surrounds us.

 

The STEM approach, which integrates four separate academic disciplines – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic - into one cohesive and holistic educational framework, is based on an understanding of the interdisciplinary aspects of life and real-world applications. These academic disciplines are therefore taught in an integrated and unified fashion, taking into account each student’s background and experiences. Likewise, the STEM approach motivates and inspires students to learn according to the holistic approach and deepen their knowledge in each of these disciplines, as well as contribute to the development of life-skills, which are essential to cultivate in an ever-changing world. For both developed and developing countries alike, these academic disciplines are crucial for the ongoing progress of each of their societies and the future of their workforce

 

The aim of this booklet is to help fulfill MASHAV and METC’s overall mission to empower the developing world by sharing tools to overcome development challenges, and elicit sustainable transformation within each of their countries’ own societies. As we believe that “sharing is inspiring,” we chose to display six different educational approaches and models that were developed by Israeli experts from the public and private sectors, civil society/NGOs and academia in Israel. Each of the following articles offers a different perspective on the STEM approach, and together present the current status of this approach within the Israeli Education System.

 

Damian Filut

Deputy Director - METC

REAL STEAM for Developing the Next Generation Problem Solvers

The next position paper presents a proposal for a teachers' professional development program for teaching STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) in junior high school. The developing team of this program come each from a different scientific discipline  and with wide experience in developing teaching and learning programs for pre-service and in-service teachers. Noa Ragonis, Osnat Dagan, Tili Wagner, Daphne Goldman - Beit Berl College, Israel.

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The ORT iSTEAM Programme

The ORT Israel network of schools is currently developing and piloting a new Project Based Learning (PBL) curriculum based on Innovation, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (hence i-STEAM).  The purpose of the ORT iSTEAM programme is to empower young students with the essential knowledge, skills and values needed for living in the 21st century. The project is a radical innovation of R&D based on robust experimental field studies.

Thoughts About STEM. Dr. Oved Kedem.

STEM is the newest trend of the educational system in the USA. And therefore, it is expected that most countries in the American-influenced world would adopt it. Dr. Oved Kedem re thinks the STEM approach from a critical perspective.

Chemical escapism: An Aesthetic analysis of a chemical educational escape room

Escape rooms are very popular, non-virtual games in which participants solve puzzles to successfully escape a room within a certain time frame. Tapping on their big popular buzz, a mobile educational escape room based on the Chemistry curriculum was developed at the National Centre for Chemistry Teachers at the Weizmann Institute of Science. In this paper we discuss the design principles of a mobile escape room. We then analyze how these design principles attempt to lead the participant to an aesthetics experience and to desirable learning outcomes. Ran Peleg*, Malka Yayon and Dvora Katchevich - Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

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STEM Education - Why Do We Need It? Adi Shmorak, Innovation Manager at Intelitek.

The world is changing ever so fast. Technology is changing the way we communicate, work, play and even love. Societies are reforming, reshaping, and redefining themselves. Everything we know may give in, at any moment, to something new and improved. Did anyone say Walkman?

The Makerspace is the 21st century classroom. Roni Arkush, Director of Activities at XLN - Israel.

So what will schools look like in 10 or 20 years, and how will learning take place? While it appears to be too early to know for sure, Makerspaces and pedagogies that integrate Making will undoubtedly be a vital part of this future.

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