This summer, 20 students from across Latin America, Israel, Europe, Russia and Ukraine embarked upon three weeks of study in scientific labs at our STEM Summer School.
At the ORT Braude College of Engineering in Israel, the students explored applied scientific disciplines beyond the scope of the typical school classroom and were challenged by projects which are outside their school curriculum.
“The summer school helped us to delve deeper into a subject that we already love. Every day we learned something new, something exciting. We studied with passionate, knowledgeable teachers who exposed us to new areas in STEM topics as well as new ways of thinking and solving problems… it was an opportunity we couldn’t have dreamed of experiencing at home.”
Galia and Abraham
Each week of the summer school focused on a different area of knowledge: environmental engineering, robotics and biotechnology. Here, some participants share why this was an important experience for them.
Environmental Engineering and Teamwork
Raphael, Ohad and Galia:
“We collaborated in real research lead by Dr. Sivan, who helped us to understand the critical water issues in Israel that he is trying to overcome.
“Our research was about the waste of water in the desalination process and the objective of the study was to use this water to support a healthy environment for fish to grow in.
“Overall, the class not only gave us more experience in practical chemistry, but it also taught us about how teamwork and passion can influence the research results.”
Robotics and Critical Thinking
“This class focused on programming, physics, engineering, design of a device and the documentation of the process.
“To begin with Itamar, the professor, presented the project to us: to build a meteorological balloon with several sub-systems including an altitude sensor, a detaching mechanism for the balloons, a parachute, indicators and the ability to send and receive data from a phone application.
“The project could not be done by calculating theoretical values such as the velocity of the device alone, but also the expectations of the dimensions of the parachute and the code.
“There was a huge need for cooperation and teamwork from the students in the class. The roles had to be divided in order to reach a successful and efficient result.”
Biotechnology and Project-Based Learning
Antonella and Rotem:
“We were taught by an incredible teacher, Dr Marcella, who managed to explain new and complicated material in an accessible and engaging way.”
“The main goal of our research was the detection of mycoplasma in biological samples. During our work, we used specialist lab equipment and materials we had never seen or touched before.
“At the beginning of the course we practiced skills that would be useful during later research and two main experiments.
“The first experiment we did was an isolation of bacteria and we gained skills which would help us on the second day. As well as this, we did a Gram staining that allowed us to classify the bacteria we saw on the microscope. Later, we worked on bacterial DNA extracting, isolating, doing a PCR and finally an electrophoresis.
“Overall, it was a great experience to satisfy our curiosity, get to do practical experiments and to get to know how the laboratory work is done.”