HAIFA, ISRAEL – Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the nation’s largest private schools network responsible for educating more than 100,000 students annually, recently brought together 56 students teams from its 206 schools from around the country at the Technion to compete in its “Young Engineers” conference that celebrates the design, innovation, science and technological prowess of Israeli high-school students.
Two of the Israel Sci-Tech schools particularly impressed. The first, a student group from the Sci-Tech Bustan al-Marj school was awarded the third place prize for a firefighting navigation mobile phone app they created. The 12th grade students had developed the app while consulting with their local firefighting station to create software that would facilitate their work by locating the nearest fire hydrant, and allowing increased engagement with the public.
The second group came from the Sci-Tech Ramle-Lod school that received one of the ‘Audience Favorites’ awards for their “Soldier Security System”. They decided to tackle the problem of friendly-fire incidents in the military by developing a system of sensors, radio transmitters and automatic locking mechanisms on the firearms. This would allow for the instant identification of friendly forces as well as the prevention of firing on them.
“This was a very exciting day that brought together hundreds of our students to express the fruits of their studies through invention. It also was one of the first opportunities to showcase our new I-STEAM curriculum,” said Israel Sci-Tech Schools Director General Zvi Peleg.
I-STEAM is the network’s new curriculum that adds innovation and creativity to traditional STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. It includes an arts element to enhance the students’ creativity and understanding of the importance of design. In addition, they have recently begun adding components to give students an understanding of business models and marketing.
“Our educational program is the first of its kind,” explained Dr. Eli Eisenberg, the head of research, development and training for the network, who oversaw the development of the I-STEAM program. “These projects give our students the necessary skills to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace.”
Friends of Israel Sci-Tech Schools is a U.S.-based 501-C3 dedicated to supporting the 20& institutions and 100,000 students that represent the largest independent network of science and technology educational institutions in Israel. Today, there are more than 500,000 alumni, many of whom have gone onto become senior leaders in the military, high tech entrepreneurs, as well as some of the top engineers and scientists in Israel.