What is the connection between Science, technology, engineering and math and people-to-people relationships?
Could you imagine Lego robotics uniting educators, students and families across the world?
Have you ever created robotic codes for Purim Carnivals?
Have you spoken the shared language of STEM?
This fall 10 Canadian educators traveled to Israel as part of our pilot STEM delegation to receive world renowned training in robotics from Beit Yatziv, in partnership with their counterpart Israeli teachers in Eilat. This program is a key example of the reciprocal relationship between peers in Israel and Toronto; showcasing not just a one way investment into Israel but rather, shifting the paradigm from Israel as the receiver of Toronto money to Israel as world leaders in STEM education.
Israel Engagement in partnership with the Jewish Agency For Israel and Partnership Together, have launched a pilot initiative in which STEM education serves as the catalyst for a new and dymanic approach to people-to-people relationship building.
The STEM Twinning initiative is based on extending the highest quality STEM educational experience to Toronto teachers and students, while forming key relationships between peers in Israel and Toronto, at the educators, student and community level. Last year the program, which partners schools in Eilat and Toronto through a STEM curriculum ran a soft launch with Robbins Hebrew Academy and Bialik Hebrew Day School in Toronto, and Harai Eilat and Galim in Israel. The communities generated buzz and enthusiasm around this current twist to the twinning concept, a connection based on a shared language of STEM.
As such, this year we doubled the program adding The Leo Baeck Day School and Associated Hebrew Schools in Toronto and Almog and Hayovel in Eilat. In total, 10 Canadian educators traveled to on our pilot STEM delegation to Israel to receive world renowned training in robotics from Beit Yatziv, a scientific institution known best for its exceptional and innovative teacher training programs, in partnership with their counterpart Israeli teachers. This program is a key example of the reciprocal relationship between peers in Israel and Toronto; showcasing not just a one way investment into Israel but rather, shifting the paradigm from Israel as the receiver of Toronto money to Israel as world leaders in STEM education.
“The biggest a-ha moment was understanding the different messages that had been sent and understanding the reality from both schools. Another moment was when we collectively decided how we were going to build our relationships- not on robots- but on connecting people”
Throughout the academic year the twinned schools will meet online via video conferencing a few times throughout the school year, as well as connect via video messages, instant messages, assignments, and robotics challenges. They will also expand upon what twinning means, integrating their partners in other areas of learning and school atmosphere including language studies, holiday celebrations etc. Throughout this year X number of students in Israel and Toronto will be integrated into this unique approach to teaching and learning science and connecting with each other.
Providing STEM training through an Israel engaged lens allows for new opportunities for students to understand Israel in the world. As a start-up tech based nation, we should be utilizing Israel for all that it has to offer. There is first hand research being done on how to increase STEM awareness for young girls and women, and teaching kindergarten through a STEM lens.
Partnership Coordinator, Israel Engagement