Lockheed Martin to open Jerusalem preschools
The MadaKids project of science-oriented preschools is expanding to Jerusalem, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, the Ministry of Education and the municipality.
The goals of MadaKids is to develop the children’s technological and scientific thinking skills and abilities, along with an interest and a passion for science and technology.
Similar preschools have already been opened in Be'er Sheva and Kiryat Malachi, with teachers trained by Rashi's affiliate Beit Yatziv, whose staff developed the pedagogic program.
We were happy to welcome Marillyn Hewson, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin, to the official dedication of the new MadaKids science kindergarten in Kiryat Malachi this week.
This is the second kindergarten of its kind in Israel, duplicating the model that was launched last year in Be'er Sheva with great success, judging by the enthusiastic response of children, parents and teachers.
"We are shaping the world in a positive way by investing in the potential of Israeli children", said Ms. Hewson about the project, which aims to inspire preschool children to consider a future as scientists, engineers and innovators with a special curriculum of science and technology enrichment.
MadaKids is a joint initiative of Lockheed Martin, Rashi and the Ministry of Education.
From right: Rashi's Board member Francois Leven, Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, Lockheed Martin President Marilyn Hewson and Kiryat Malachi Mayor Eliyahu Zohar
National Cyber Competition encourages study of math, science and technology
Jerusalem Post 13.4.2016
Students from the Ostrovsky High School in Ra'anana won the first prize in the final round of the National Coding Competition, a joint initiative of the Education Ministry, the Rashi Foundation and Israel Advanced Technology Industries.
The competition began in October and included some 1,900 schools and pupils from third to 12th grades, who competed in separate age groups. The top pupils from each school were invited to a "training camp" in preparation for the national competition.
“The championship was designed to open a window for pupils onto the world of technology and science, and through games and interactivity to encourage challenges, creativity and thinking outside of the box,” said Minister of Education Naftali Bennett.
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The winning team in the Coding Competition with Minister of Education Naftali Bennett
Taking "start-up nation" to the next level
Jerusalem Post 22.2.2016
Israel’s hi-tech engine is slowing down, and one of the main factors holding it back is a lack of skilled manpower. As many as 10,000 engineering positions are unfilled and the number is growing every year with only around 4,500 students graduating from relevant degree programs.
The long-term solution is educating the younger generation, starting with kids who are in elementary school today. Reforms introduced recently by the Ministry of Education aim to reverse the decline in the number of high school students taking advanced math.
Now, Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI), an umbrella organization of hi-tech companies, is leading with the Rashi Foundation and the Ministry a program to expose kids from 3rd grade to programming through a coding game. In its second year, the initiative has attracted 270,000 elementary school pupils and 10,000 high school students.
IATI CEO Karin Mayer Rubinstein says she hopes programs like these will lead more kids to study science at school and to go on to study STEM subjects at university, eventually helping to reach the goal of doubling the number of hi-tech workers in Israel by 2025
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Multinationals invest in teaching Israeli kids to code
Jerusalem Post 28.10.2015
The Education Ministry and Rashi together with multinational corporations with R&D centers in Israel have launched a "Coding Olympics" initiative in Israeli schools.
The initiative, conceived in response to the growing demand for engineers in Israel's high-tech sector, is supported by the Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI), a group representing multinational corporation such as Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Cisco, SanDisk, HP and others.
Following a successful pilot last year in the SkillZ competition, it is being scaled up into a nationwide project. The Coding Olympics will be divided into two categories – one for elementary and junior high schools (Junior SkillZ, grades 3-8) and the other for high schools, who will compete in groups guided by volunteer mentors from high-tech companies.
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Launching the Coding Olympics: the Minister of Education Naftali Bennett (center) with members of IATI and Rashi Foundation representatives
Israel opens first-ever high-tech kindergarten
Times of Israel 30.10.2015
Robotics, physics, astronomy and math are some of the skills 5-year-olds will pick up at new facility, a joint initiative of the global aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, the municipality of Be'er Sheva, the Ministry of Education and Rashi.
The three kindergarten classes with 100 children are equipped with computers, Lego and robotics kits, and space-related content. They will offer 300 hours of science and technology study per year, as part of the "MadaKids" early childhood science education program.
The dedication ceremony was attended by the Minister of Education Naftali Bennett and by Lockheed Martin CEO Marilyn Hewson, who said: "We are proud to be participating in this project… all of us have the same goal — to help develop science and tech education in Israel, from kindergarten through high school."
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More on this subject:
The start of the school year marks an excting new stage in Rashi's activity to advance STEM education.
"Give Five" is the title of an ambitious program the Ministry of Education is launching this year to promote the study of high-level math (5 credit points). This is the first step in the implementation of the "5p2" collective impact initiative, which brings together philanthropies, government agencies, academic institutes and socially involved businesses in an effort to double the circle of outstanding STEM students. As one of initiative's founding partners, we are working to ensure that underprivileged populations in the geographic and social periphery are among its major beneficiaries.
Another new initiative aims to harness the power of games as learning tools, introducing children and youth to computer technology and other STEM subjects through the challenge of games and competitions. This power was clearly demonstrated in last year's SkillZ Competition, which engaged 2,200 enthusiastic teens in code-based pirate fights. Supported by the Ministry of Education and the Israel Advanced Technologies Industries, the program will expand SkillZ to hundreds of high schools across Israel. At the same time, children in elementary and junior high schools will be able to learn real-life programming through the CodeMonkey online game.
In the SkillZ 2015 competition, 600 groups of high school students played a Pirates Game, sinking ships and capturing islands with computer code