Future Scientists is a cutting-edge educational program conceived by President Shimon Peres which aims to cultivate a new generation of future Israeli inventors, scientists and engineers. The program harnesses together school, industry and academia to create the optimal learning conditions for nurturing excellence in Israel's most gifted high schoolers, with the goal of realizing their creative potential in science and technology and the vision to create a vital stream of talent for Israel's knowledge-based industries.
In Israel's high schools there are many creative, highly talented pupils who are insufficiently challenged by the education system. The program is designed to identify pupils who excel in science and technology fields, enlarge their knowledge, and provide them with tools and skills in the areas of creativity, invention, entrepreneurship etc., as well as practical experience in academic institutes and the high-tech industry.
The four-year program starts at the end of 8th grade and continues through the end of 12th. Each year comprises of 20 weeks of courses/workshops, as well as special activities during school vacations. The components of the program are:
- Extra advanced studies in science and technology subjects (physics, biotechnology, computer science, electronics, robotics, biology, chemistry, aeronautics, nanotechnology, applied mathematics).
- Practical training to provide tools and knowledge in the development and realization of ideas and inventions, including skills such as teamwork, creative thinking, planning and management of projects.
- As part of their studies and training, pupils will cope with real tasks presented by the industry or the IDF, working as a team to develop solutions.
- Meetings and lectures by industry workers, including R&D teams.
Leading them Forward
Future Scientists was launched in July 2009 with the first summer school for a group of 50 young men and women at Tel-Aviv University's Unit for Science-Oriented Youth. The program was expanded to the Technion in the academic year 2011-2 and to Ben Gurion University in 2012-3.
Following the program, students are guided through their mandatory military service. They are the put on the fast track toward the IDF Intelligence and Technological Units -- where their skills are greatly needed -- or they become "academic cadets," pursuing an academic degree prior to their practical army service.
Read the Jerusalem Post article about the inauguration ceremony of the program