SpaceIL’s vision is to inspire children in Israel to be scientists and engineers, and to engage Jewish children around the world to connect with Israel in new and exciting ways. We have already captured the imagination of the Israeli public, and while we have reached tens of thousands of kids in their classrooms, we envision presenting the SpaceIL story to every middle school classroom in Israel. Furthermore, through our partnership with the iCenter in Chicago, we will be working across the US Jewish educational system over the next several years so that Jewish kids will join the SpaceIL mission and strengthen their connection to Israel in the process.
Currently only 6% of Israeli students excel in science, compared to 15% – 20% on average in the OECD. The number of Israeli engineering graduates has plateaued over the last five years, and the Israeli Defense Forces are lacking more than 12,000 technological applicants per year. These engineers are crucial for building Israel’s defense systems – from the Iron Dome and Arrow to the next cyber frontier. But the problem also seeps into industry, endangering our role as the ‘Startup Nation.’ SpaceIL will facilitate the widest possible exposure to science and engineering, both in and out of the classroom, inspiring young Israelis to pursue careers in science and technology.
STEM Educational Impact
SpaceIL aims to create an Israeli “Apollo Effect” – by landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon, we will spark the imagination of Israeli children and broadly increase science and technology literacy across Israel. By creating real-time, exciting examples of science innovation, we will inspire kids to see themselves as part of Israeli science in the future and thus pursue educations in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
To date, our network of volunteers has reached over 70,000 kids through various public lectures, in-school activities, and children’s videos on the internet. By the end of the project, we plan to reach many more. SpaceIL is also creating short-term, high-exposure curriculum aimed at sparking Israeli youths’ interest in science and technology in classrooms. Our curricular programs focus mainly on junior high school students, just before they decide on their high school course of study. More broadly, we have infused ourselves in the public conversation in Israel through social media, television, conferences, and print media exposure.
SpaceIL represents an unprecedented opportunity to connect the global Jewish community through an inspiring and captivating story of Israeli innovation. Jewish educators and communal leaders are eager to find ways to connect youth with the richness, diversity, and sophistication of contemporary Israeli life. SpaceIL provides a unique portal, showcasing the leadership and ingenuity of Israelis in science and technology, and the Israeli spirit of overcoming long odds to accomplish great things.
We are working with the iCenter to execute a broad education campaign that will engage North American Jewish youth in the SpaceIL story. We are developing educational materials that will be distributed to Jewish educators working in camps, youth groups, Hebrew schools, and day schools. This effort will be supported with an online platform and an intensive online campaign to allow Jewish youth to take part in SpaceIL’s mission. We envision every birthright bus and Hillel chapter rooting for Israel on its journey to the Moon.
Guidelines and Methodology
SpaceIL educational programs are evaluated on four levels – exposure, leverage, depth, and decision proximity. We aim to expose our program to a wide and diverse audience. We seek partnerships that will enable us to multiply the resources we invest and leverage our partners’ educational and operational infrastructure. We develop programs that will expose the students to deep, complex, and intriguing questions, but also understand that we need to balance between depth and high exposure. We aim to inspire more kids to be scientists and engineers, which is why we focus on middle school students just before they decide the course of study that will impact their entire career path.
Download some fun educational DIY Activities
SpaceIL is working to show every child in Israel the inspiring story of the first Israeli spacecraft. Here are some pictures from our lectures: