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TECHNOLOGY AND MATHS IN STEM EDUCATION THROUGH THE WONDERFUL ISRAEL

January 25, 2018
After the first hard-working week, the group of educators from STEM course in Israel has continued with many interesting activities related to technology and maths. We had professional visits at some centers as well as high schools. Besides that, we have also met some companies which are pushing more attention to the application of technology in education.

We have visited Eshkol Center which is the science center built for students in the nearby schools to learn science instead of learning at their local campuses. There are 5000 students from 6-18th graders following the program at the center. The program is aimed to make a considerably large space for students to explore more and more science without limitation. The teachers in the center compile and prepare a significant number of real experiments for students to explore and gain the knowledge by themselves. There are 8 members of staff and about 20 science and technology educators working in the facility. The infrastructure is invested remarkably with 5 fully equipped laboratories where contains many equipment and devices supporting for the science experiments. Moreover, one auditorium with the capacity of 215 seats is built for some major events in the center. Besides focusing on the science activity, the center also takes account for the other activities related to the art such as dance studio or multifunctional room for more than 80 people. Furthermore, the center also takes an crucial role in the city in terms of science activity for everyone. They give scientific services and education to all the citizens of the city, even to the adults. Some cultural events, such as theater, art or dance are hosted by the center. In order to enhance the quality of science activity, especially to engage students in doing more projects, the center also invite and cooperate with some companies as well as the professors in the university to visit and make lecture for students. Students here are very confident telling us about their projects with program coding and lego robotics.

  

After a brief introduction about the center, we took a visit around the center to have a thorough understanding about this. Then, we and teachers of the center had an amazing meeting called round tables “Applying the STEM approach”. We discussed together about the education system at the center as well as the experience in teaching here. Some teachers showed us the products of the students here which made us so surprised about the local students’ creativity. We, the STEM Course Participants, have learnt so many valuable things from teachers here in regarding to the way of applying STEM in education. 


In the afternoon, we met some companies supporting the integration of ICT into teaching by the way they make some products as the learning environment. The CoderZ program supplies a space of coding for students to practice and try connecting with the robot to make it work the way they want. The program is virtual and relevant for students to use. We are very excited with the clear and thorough presentation of Mr. Adi Shmorak. Right after that, Mr. Dovi Bruker, the CEO of Globisens Ltd, brought us a multi-measurement device. With just this fascinating device, students can make so many experiments and take the data. Based on these data, they can analyse and make some suggestions as well as solutions for their projects. One of the most key idea that we were really impressive on both two presentations is that device supports your projects, it is not what you have to learn about. This means that in modern education, students don’t learn about a new device but they study with it as a learning environment.


The most surprising day for all of us began with the relax time at Café Dilemma where Mr. Damian is the owner as well as the waiter. There we could order whatever we want with a special menu which includes many up-to-date “meals” about modern education challenges. We talked, argued, and learnt so many new and amazing things from foreign friends with a new education system you haven’t ever known before. Last but not least, after the whole discussion of the class, Mr. Damian ended the café morning by concluding the meaning of this discussion activity with three layers of effect. The first and also the foundation layer is the meaning of sharing – discussing together to see that education is not the concern of only you but also many educators all over the word. The second meaning layer is the effect of broadening the horizon of knowledge, giving and receiving to make us “bigger and bigger”. The top layer of meaning is that being a student is one way to help teachers have a deep and thorough understanding about their students. This meaning is really crucial for this kind of activity. The café Dilemma brought us close to each other.



The Maths day was about teaching Maths in Israel. We have visited Boyer High School where Maths is taught in the high level. They have already made a revolution on maths in which students may be chosen to learn maths with the highest result – 5 points. In the mathematical revolution, teachers teach meta – cognition and self-consciousness. The key concept in the school is “don’t give up on students” and “teaching with your all responsibility”. They organize learning Math center which is free for students as tutoring. They teach students to work online after the school and help each other. They help to find the way for student to love Maths. Moreover some students from the high level maths grade came with us to have a conversation. We asked students so many things regarding to their learning in this kind of class. We are completely convinced with the maths revolution here through the intelligent and well-thinking answer of the students. Especially, one student said that they can learn various useful skills for the future through the way of learning maths in high level. This showed that they really understand the meaning of learning – for the future life, not just for the future career. 

In conclusion, the further we go, the more we gain. In three days, we may get the good perspective about technology and maths in education. We look forward to having more learning opportunities like this in the coming time.