First Graduates of Rothschild-Weizmann Program for Excellence in Science Teaching

Twenty-six science teachers have completed advanced studies in the Rothschild-Weizmann Program for Excellence in Science Teaching and will be awarded M.Sc. degrees in science teaching from the Feinberg Graduate School of the Weizmann Institute of Science. This unique program, the first of its kind in Israel, is designed for high-school science teachers. In the upcoming year, about 100 will be enrolled in the two-year program.

The Program is based on the belief that the best way to improve science education is to groom excellent teachers. Thus, the Rothschild-Weizmann Program invites top science teachers to participate. In cooperation with Weizmann Institute scientists, an intensive study program was put together, in which the students deepen their knowledge in all fields of science, meet with scientists and visit their labs, learn about the latest scientific advances, gain new approaches to teaching, participation in Institute research on science education, and receive opportunities to lead new educational initiatives.

The Rothschild-Weizmann Program, supported by the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation, was established three years ago at the initiative of the Institute administration and the Science Teaching Department. Heading the program, which is given through the Feinberg Graduate School, are Prof. Shimon Levit of the Faculty of Physics and Prof. Bat Sheva Eylon, Head of the Science Teaching Department.

“Program alumnae can influence the educational system on many levels,” says Eylon. “A teacher can work within his or her own school, in the community or on a national level; he or she can participate in the development of educational materials or spread ideas though interactions with fellow teachers.” To further this goal, Rothschild-Weizmann Program graduates are offered a continuing program, which focuses on creating and leading new educational initiatives in conjunction with the Science Teaching Department and the Davidson Institute of Science Education.

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to 2,700 scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment.

Weizmann Institute news releases are posted on the World Wide Web at http://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il, and are also available at http://www.eurekalert.org.

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