The Science Leadership Program is one of many activities of the Ilan Ramon Physics Center for Youth, which offers some of the better-equipped laboratories in Israel and highly qualified instructors in a range of excellence programs for school students in the southern region.
In the Science Leadership program, brilliant and motivated high school students (10th-12th grade) act as young counselors, introducing elementary school pupils to different science subjects in combination with social activity. The program emphasizes learning through hands-on experience, using games, experiments and model-building to teach scientific concepts. For example, while building and flying hot-air balloons, participants learn about weight, density and pressure in physics.
Potential young counselors are identified in 9th grade and invited to a training camp focusing on leadership skills during the summer; the training continues in a second camp where the emphasis is on science education. Throughout the school year they meet regularly to share their experience with each other and develop their skills further. Those who remain in the program receive advanced training and are given more responsibility as their capacity is built.
When they complete military of national service, the graduates of the program are entitled to scholarships for academic studies and serve as tutors to the young counselors in the Science Leadership program. In this way the program creates a continuum of community-based science education and leadership.