Source: Israel Hayom
Israel's first science and technology preschool was inaugurated in Beersheba recently as part of a new government initiative called Madakids. Instead of puzzles, coloring sheets and learning blocks, preschoolers will be exposed to robotics, computers and space exploration. The goal of Madakids ("mada" means science in Hebrew) is to introduce scientific subject matters to young Israelis at the earliest possible age. This, administrators hope, will help produce the next generation of Israeli scientists. The Beersheba preschool is a collaboration of the American aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, the Beersheba municipality, the Rashi Foundation, the Education Ministry, and the Science, Technology and Space Ministry.
The school's curriculum sets aside more than 300 hours for science, taught by staff who have undergone special training on the unique subject matter. The hope is that this new educational setting will make the preschoolers become more attracted to the world of science, gain the necessary skill set for scientific research and experience a rich and conducive learning environment that promotes astronomy, physics, chemistry and robotics. Those behind the initiative say that this new approach will provide children with the necessary tools to obtain scientific expertise and advanced analytical skills.
The first phase of the program will be limited to three schools in Beersheba, two of which are expected to open over the next two years. Some 100 children will take part in the program. All schools will include computers and Lego building kits. They will also have the necessary facilities for robot testing and space-related publications. Eventually such schools will be opened in other parts of the country.
Read more at Israel Hayom.
See the Madakids Beersheba dedication on Youtube.