Earth's oceans are so vast – so much beauty and so little is known. How little is taught to our children. We live in an enchanted world and we all hope to give our children a viewpoint to its great beauties.
In June 2012 I participated in a 3-day convention at "Echo-Ocean" in a kibbutz on the northern seashore of Israel. There I met wonderful teachers from the five maritime schools that operate in Israel. One of them, Adi Leck, is in charge of organizing marine-related youth competitions as part of the activity of the Dolphin Association (veterans of the Israeli Navy submarine unit). He told me he has been doing this for the past eight years and did not forget to credit the Ministry of Education and some voluntary organizations for their support. I suggested that they also hold photography contests and told him about the photography exhibitions I organized with my students.
This really got Adi excited and he suggested that if I organize another contest he'd be glad to merge it with the four existing competitions. This is how I became involved in the "Youth, People & Sea" competition – a completely voluntary initiative whose core value is the belief that young people should be encouraged to learn about the seas much more than their schools currently offer. The contest was held with the support of the Dolphin Organization, whose volunteers contacted the different sponsors that made everything happen.
I also found myself looking for sponsors and contacting professional photographers who would agree to voluntarily judge at the contest. The most exciting part, however, is the expectation for the actual works. We are assisted by a group of teachers, each contributing according to his/her own abilities, all voluntarily out of the love we all share to the sea. I think that this is the most important value I try to pass to my students as a teacher: love for learning, my love for my students, their love for each other, and most importantly – curiosity!
See you at the competition.
Ironi Alef High School