Israel begins educating kindergarten children in science and engineering

It’s never too soon to instill the basics of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the minds of the next generation, which is why Israel’s Ministry of Education has created a program for teaching kindergarten children STEM subjects.

The program is a collaboration between the MoE, the Rashi Foundation, and Lockheed Martin, the US-based aerospace giant. The program was launched in a preschool in Beersheva which serves 100 children aged three to five. The youngsters get to experiment with robotics, chemistry, physics, and much more, and will develop skills through hands-on creative activities, as well engaging in traditional kindergarten activities.

Participating classrooms will be equipped with computers, Lego construction kits, robotics experiments, and space-related content over the next three years. The plan is to expand the program to all preschools in Israel, giving all children a chance to develop these vital skills, regardless of their socio-economic situation.

The choice of Beersheva was deliberate; until recently, the desert city had not benefited from Israel’s tech boom; it was always on the periphery and struggling to make even. The message is clear: in Israel everyone, everywhere should have equal opportunities, and this is a step in the right direction.

Now multinational corporations including IBM and Oracle are setting up operations in Beersheva, as its technology sector, particularly in cybersecurity, takes off. The city’s regeneration and newfound success is a reflection of Israel’s ability to turn desolation into prosperity, poverty into abundance.

This new educational program will continue Israel’s – and Beersheva’s – remarkable transformation from a desert backwater to a technological powerhouse. It will help to ensure a steady supply of skilled and creative scientists and engineers in the workforce for years to come. Education is a key priority in Israel and programs like this are why it leads the Middle East in technology and innovation.

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