Annual iSTEAM program teaches 400 students how to think like leaders

The joint project from OpenValley and ORT Israel concluded this month, having imparted valuable wisdom upon several hundred students.

 ORT students graduating the iSTEAM program (photo credit: OpenValley)
ORT students graduating the iSTEAM program
(photo credit: OpenValley)

Earlier this month saw the end of iSTEAM, an annual collaboration project between the education organization ORT Israel and the hi-tech stage-two accelerator OpenValley.

400 ORT students from around the country attended the program’s final, presenting over 50 multidisciplinary projects that pulled upon the knowledge imparted to them over the program’s school year-long duration.

“On this [record-setting] day, hundreds of excited students from ORT schools around the country arrived in Caesarea this morning to present over 50 projects dealing with entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity,” said Sharon Greenberg, head of research, development and training at ORT Israel.

“The students built innovative projects, thinking outside the box and applying principles of science and technology," Greenberg added.

“The students built innovative projects, thinking outside the box and applying principles of science and technology."

Sharon Greenberg

iSTEAM was launched with the aim to connect the world of entrepreneurship and start-ups to ORT's students throughout the country, preparing its graduates for the challenges of the 21st century.

Flagship program

The program is the education NGO’s flagship program, training students in relevant skills like teamwork, critical thinking, innovative thinking and entrepreneurship.

iSTEAM program students and teachers come to meetings in the entrepreneurship complexes of the OpenValley chain, where students take an active part in the community experience of the high-tech industry and experience the challenges of entrepreneurs and innovation leaders.

The students and teachers meet with entrepreneurs, who in turn attend sessions to learn more about the iSTEAM program.

“This is a record event that summarizes the work of an entire year,” said Shiri Green-Elgevish, CEO of OpenValley. “[The program] was established about 6 years ago with the understanding that it is impossible to create social change without education.”

She noted that the education system in Israel has been impacted by iSTEAM and its students. “Schools are on the verge of change. We're anticipating a revolution in teaching, and the market is demanding something else; this program will be meaningful in the development of the school of the future,” she said.

“Students leave the program much more prepared for the labor market, having acquired skills that will be useful for them in all areas of life.”