ATUDA – Scientific and Technological Leadership Reserve Project
The "Scientific and Technological Leadership Reserve" is a prestigious excellence programme. It is a pioneering special effort to advance students' future prospects. This track exposes students to advanced issues in Science and Technology and paves their way to future leadership.
The purpose of the project is to establish an excellence track of six years, resulting in a quality Baccalaureate diploma in Science and Technology. It includes:
- 5 Units of Mathematics;
- 5 Units of Natural Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology);
- 5 Units of Technology (Software Engineering; Electronic Engineering; Machines Engineering; Biotechnology or Scientific/Technological) or,
- 5 Units of an additional Natural Science discipline.
The programme is carried out both in junior and senior high schools. In the first case, students participating in the project receive two additional weekly teaching hours in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science and Robotics following a special curriculum. Schools receive an additional budget to equip their laboratories for the experiments required by the programme.
The senior high school students receive reinforcement lessons in Mathematics and Sciences adapted to their needs. The lessons are provided in small groups and their purpose is to support students in implementing the tasks involved in the programme. The project includes an element of ‘Organisational Culture Development’ interventions in the participating schools.
Trained moderators carried out adequate interventions first for the school principal and later for the project coordinator. The purpose was to encourage excellence, well-structured definition of aims and objectives, identification of objections and resistance, etc. The moderators also intervened to support the students in coping with the emotional aspects that may arise in such a challenging programme.
Coordinator: Israeli Ministry of Education, Administration for Science and Technology http://cms.education.gov.il
Target groups: education authorities, policy makers, secondary school students, teachers
Topic: Biochemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Computer science, Electronics, Engineering, Information technology, Maths, Nanotechnology, Optics, Physics, Software engineering
Start year: 2011
Contact person: Yigal Dor, Email: yigaldo2 (at) education.gov.il
Several tools for formative and summative evaluation were developed for grades 7 to 9 as part of the internal evaluation tools that schools can use to enrich the teaching and learning process. They can be employed for exercising, as homework, for self-feedback by the students and for class evaluation. A detailed list of the available tools is available in Hebrew here.
An intermediate formative evaluation presenting measurable results was carried out at the end of the first cycle by Dr Ofer Rimon and Dr Dimitri Romanov, who published the research paper Stepping over diamonds: the non-realised potential for excellence of Israel, The Central Bureau of Statistics – Working Papers Series, Paper No. 67, April 2012. (Hebrew with English summary)
800 schools in the country comply with the basic criteria for inclusion in the programme: preparing their students for and entering them in the Baccalaureate examinations.
The programme began in the school year 2011/2012 with 186 junior high schools (7th grade) and 176 high schools (10th grade). Every year an additional cohort of each school entered the programme; schools that did not keep up with the required standards were removed; others joined. In the first three years of the programme, participation increased by 10%. The evaluation included an experimental group in which the intervention was carried out (176 schools, of which 41 dropped out). The control group, with similar characteristics to those of the experimental group, included 252 schools that did not participate in the programme, in spite of fulfilling the inclusion criteria. The baseline school year was 2010/2011.
The programme’s goal is to increase the number of students who meet the cumulative criteria for an excellent Scientific Technological Baccalaureate – 5 Units of Mathematics; 5 Units of Science (Physics or Chemistry or Biology); 5 Technology Units/or an additional 5 Science Units – by 20% by 2020 and in the first stage of the programme by 2.3%.
Results indicate that an increase of 2.2% was achieved for the three criteria. For Mathematics the result was even better with an increase of 2.4%.
Detailed instructions for teachers in the different disciplines included in the programme are available in Hebrew on the following page:
- A Master document for the Scientific and Technological Leadership Project in Physics (Grades 7-9)
- A Master document for the Scientific and Technological Leadership Project in Biology and Chemistry (Grades 7-9)
- Guidance documents from the Chief Coordinating Inspector for the project:
- Identification of students in the 6th grade who can be candidates for inclusion in the project
- The Ilan Ramon Olympics
- The week of Education and Space Research
- Section on Inquiry Based Teaching
- Forum on Science/Scientific Research – solving problems with teachers and instructors
- In-service training workshops for the teachers who participate in the project.