By Maxine Dovere/JNS.org
Click photo to download. Caption: The Technoda science museum in the Givat Olga community of Hadera, Israel. The Technoda’s educational program cultivates Israeli scientists at early ages. Credit: Sivan Toledo via Wikimedia Commons.
On the one hand, Givat Olga is an
underprivileged neighborhood in the Israeli city of Hadera with about 12,000
people, primarily immigrants from Ethiopia, North Africa and the former Soviet
Union. On the other, the neighborhood is home to the breeding ground for the
next generation of science pioneers emerging from the “start-up nation.”
decision to build Technoda—Israel’s National Museum of Science, Planning and
Technology—in the unexpected
location of Givat Olga brought educational resources to children who previously
had limited access to them. Technoda got off the ground in 1986 with the
support of the Rashi Foundation. One of Technoda’s founding fathers, Zion Bash, a
senior engineer at Intel, helped develop an educational program with a focal point
of enrichment in the sciences.
students took part in the first iteration of the Technoda program, which now provides
more than 30,000 children per year with a hands-on science and general
education. Students range from gan (pre-kindergarten)
to high school.
Click photo to download. Caption: Dr. Gadi Mador, director of Technoda, where Israeli scientists are cultivated at early ages. Credit: Maxine Dovere.
“A small room has
become a castle,” Dr. Gadi Mador, Technoda’s director, says in an interview
“One of the basic
elements for the future of Israel is to be, first and foremost, strong in
science and technology,” he says. “Education is a journey that must start in
kindergarten and continue throughout high school.”
that Technoda is the only place in Israel where all sectors of the population
learn together under same roof—haredim and hilonim (religious and secular), Arabs
and kibbutzniks, Christians, Jews,
Muslims and Druze. The project’s goals, he says, are “first, to promote science
and technology in Israel, and second, to bring together all elements of Israeli
society on the common ground of science.”
A day at Technoda begins promptly at 8 a.m.
Three morning programs are run simultaneously, with each geared to a specific
age group. In the first section, the preschool class, even fairy tales become a
vehicle for understanding science and technology.
Click photo to download. Caption: Israeli scientists are cultivated at young ages by Technoda, whose educational programming is pictured here. Credit: Technoda.
“There is a special
space for kids,” Mador says. “Technoda materials are integrated into the
classroom topics. Material is provided to start the learning process in the
school. Each gan program is two
months long. Each of the five units per year culminates with a visit to [the] Technoda
[museum].” …read more