Active Science Group
They dropped out of school and currently are not part of a formal learning environment, but they are more than just “at-risk youth”. They are youth with potential.
Ever since the establishment of the Davidson Institute of Science Education, the “Active Science Group” program has been working together with the “Hila” program of the Ministry of Education and the municipal youth-advancement units in order to bring 15-18 year old school-excluded youth to live up to their potential. We do this by encouraging them to take part in a 9-12 year education program, working on changing their attitude and approach of “I can’t do this” and transforming it into self-confidence and an experience of success.
Through the years, we have discovered that science, which is usually associated with excelling students, has the perfect combination of curiosity and experimentation, of wanting to understand the world and acquiring basic life skills. A teen who has never held a soldering iron, saw or screwdriver, now receives the opportunity to do so in a positive and prestigious learning environment and at a good starting point that will show them that they can. Very quickly, the teens find their place in the “world of science”, and what seemed far and threatening a moment ago, contributes eventually to their self-promotion and taking an active role in society.
More about the program
The activity comprises of a short theoretical part, combining discussion and demonstration, as well as a practical part in which the students build a product or model illustrating the scientific or technological principle being taught. In each meeting we will emphasize the connection of the scientific topic to everyday life (“link to life”). For instance, during an activity on high-speed photography in which we will take photos of an exploding balloon, conversation topics on “capturing the moment” and important life events may arise. At the end of the year, the participants will be asked to present their work in a special conference to their peers, teachers, instructors, family and friends.
Every group, which comprises of up to twenty participants, is accompanied by a youth-advancement employee. Guidance is given by two professional instructors from science and engineering. The instructors, who were trained according to the scientific-educational spirit of the program, receive support and guidance from the faculty of the Davidson Institute of Science Education.
For more information look at the Hebrew site.