Creating an Israeli “Apollo Effect”

SpaceIL is an Israeli nonprofit founded at the end of 2010 aiming to make history and land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon and to inspire a generation along the way.

By building a ground-breaking spacecraft, the organization’s vision is to create a new Israeli “Apollo Effect” – inspiring the next generation in Israel and around the world to think differently about science, engineering, technology and math. After the first moonwalk in 1969, there was an unexpected outpouring of enthusiasm for science and technology studies sparked by the excitement over the Apollo missions. SpaceIL is aiming to recreate a similar effect in Israel.

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Promoting Science and Engineering in Israel

SpaceIL is the Israeli team competing in the Google Lunar X Prize competition that has a $20M reward for the first team to land an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon, move 500 meters across the lunar surface and send high definition pictures and video back to Earth. SpaceIL is committed to using this prize money to promote science and scientific education in Israel, to ensure that Israel will continue to live up to its reputation for excellence in these fields.

Despite its technological excellence, Israel faces a severe need for scientists and engineers. The IDF and private sector both lack the scientists and engineers needed to maintain Israel’s technological advantages and to sustain the startup nation’s leadership in the high-technology industry.

Inspiring Israeli Schoolchildren

A network of dozens of volunteers present SpaceIL’s story and mission in classrooms all over Israel, reaching over 43,000 kids in person so far.  Coupled with public relations campaigns in the Israeli media and across social networks, and using digital educational platforms like Brainpop, SpaceIL is reaching tens of thousands of kids and their families wherever they are.  When they hear the SpaceIL story, they light up and see science in a completely new way.

Partnering with the Ministry of Education and the Davidson Institute, the educational arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science, SpaceIL is building exciting new curriculum for Israeli students. SpaceIL is also working with middle school teachers on a space exploration program meant to spur curiosity about science and technology; and on a separate program training Israeli physics teachers to use the SpaceIL story in their classrooms.

Teaching Kids that Science + Israel = Cool

SpaceIL is connecting Jews around the world with the most innovative, exciting work happening in Israel.  Through a partnership with Chicago-based Israel education NGO the iCenter, SpaceIL will inspire Jewish youth around the US to join their mission and connect with Israel through the thrilling angle of space exploration.

Showcasing the most exciting aspects of Israeli innovation and space exploration, SpaceIL is a novel vehicle for effective Israel education. It exemplifies the leadership and ingenuity of Israelis in science and technology and the Israeli spirit of overcoming long odds to accomplish great things. SpaceIL invites young people to join the mission to the moon, enabling them to really feel connected, involved and excited.