The Science, Technology and Space Ministry on Monday dedicated a new science education center in the Arab town of Baka al-Gharbia east of Hadera. Minister Yaakov Peri and town mayor Morsi Abu-Moch said that NIS 150,000 was invested in the center, which will serve children and teens living in the area.
The center is part of a broad program for building science educational centers in six more places -- Ofakim, Migdal Ha’emek, Sdot Negev, Majdal Krum. Yafua and Beit Shean. Although a growing number of residents there have personal computers, many are not connected to the Internet. Such centers allow young people to study and play online freely so they have the same accessibility to the world online as those with more economic and social advantages.
Peri said at the ceremony that the lack of accessibility to the world of science and technology has created a worrisome gap that prevents socioeconomically disadvantaged young people -- both Arabs and Jews -- from reaching it. The use of such tools will make it easier for them to become academics and succeed educationally, he added. “More young people will be exposed to the world of science and curiosity from discovery,” the minister added.
The centers are being established inside public libraries. Youngsters will be introduced to robotics, technology, biology, chemistry, physics and even computerized music and art and the study of English, the ministry said. The computers are equipped with interactive software, simulators, technological models and more. Counselors are being trained to work with the youngsters.
The mayor of Baka Al-Gharbia was personally involved in supervising the project. He said at the ceremony that the center will advance young people in their studies and their life in general. “The learning experience in science centers is different from that in schools and is meant to help them build a good basis at a young age for enjoying new experiences and discoveries,” the mayor said.