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. They tend to have much free time which can be used to develop their potential, advancing them personally and helping them fulfill their potential within their community and society at large.
At the initiative of President Shimon Peres, the Rashi Foundation was asked to prepare and present a special program targeting this population. The program is designed to identify excellent pupils in the fields of science and technology, 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.
It is a four-year program, starting at the end of 8th grade and continuing through the end of 12th. Each year comprises of 20 weeks of courses/workshops, programs during vacations and a 3-week placement in industry during the summer. 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's plans are to add 200 students over the next two years and expand the program to other academic institutes.
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.
Having established a presence in industry and/or the military during the Future Scientists program, the move from academia to career is substantially facilitated. A special university coordinator provides students with any support they may need to complete their higher education.
Funding for each student is US$ 4,000 per year
Read the Jerusalem Post article about the inauguration ceremony of the program