French, Israelis and Palestinian met to produce a science education website, the first of its kind to offer content and services in Arabic, French and Hebrew.
Mutaz Al-Qutob, Benjamin Benita, Amir Ben-Shalom, Dan Bitan (organizer), Jean-Rémi Deléage, Iyad Dkeidek, Hasan Dweik (organizer), Mayah Halevy, Ilana Hopfeld, Rashid Jayyosi, Pierre Léna, Liora Linchevski, Rachel Mintz, Sacha Quester-Séméon, Gideon (Gidi) Sand, Roland Schaer (organizer), Awwad Sharaf, Yochay Sharon, Badie Taha-Sartawi, David Wilgenbus
by Roland Schaer
13-18 November 2006
From November 13 to November 18, 2006, the Fondation des Treilles hosted an international seminar devoted to the conception of a science education website for children. Three delegations from France, Israel and Palestine met to organize the production of this website which will be the first of its kind to offer content and services in Arabic, French and Hebrew.
This initiative is due to both the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO) and the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie. Beyond the goal of building this educational and multicultural website, the raison d’être of this project is to foster cooperation actions between Israelis and Palestinians; therefore, the conception and elaboration of the whole website will be done in a total and mutually cooperative way.
During 6 days, people from different Organizations, Universities and Museums worked together in the delightful and peaceful atmosphere of the Fondation des Treilles . The following organizations were represented:
The Al-Quds University
The Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization
The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem
Centre for Education Technology of Tel-Aviv
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Weizmann Institute
The Cité des sciences et de l’industrie
The French University Denis-Diderot – Paris 7
The Organization “La main à la pâte”
The seminar & its final decisions
The seminar wished to clarify several aspects of the project:
- A state of the art of the three educational systems to understand the real needs of each countries;
- A state of the art of the existing web content of each partner;
- And, as a consequence, to define the main targets, services and contents of the website;
All of our discussions led us to take the following decisions:
1. We’ll start the project by building a significant pilot
2. The target audience will be 7th grade (junior high school, 12 year old children)
3. The selected topics will be:
- The solar system
- The human body
4. The website should be:
- A center of resources for educators, children and families providing various materials, such as lessons, learning objects, glossaries, guides for experiences, information, …
- A platform for exchange and cooperation; as such, it will make possible:
- Exchanges between educators
- Dialogue and consultation between educators and experts in science and science education
- Class-to-class collaboration
5. The content will consist of:
- Learning objects of various forms illustrating the selected topics and requesting active involvement from the children;
- Lessons dedicated to teachers, addressing some topics present in curricula and adapted to the selected level;
- Propositions of class-to-class collaborative projects
- Additional resources for educators and children, such as articles, news, links with other sites…
- Information and suggestions for outdoor activities, like observations, experiences, visits of sites and museums.
A new meeting will take place in Jerusalem in January 2007 in order to define the methodology of the cooperation process. Indeed, the steering committee will have to study the best way to organize the work of a web team composed by two Palestinians, two Israelis and two French web experts: should they work in the same geographical place? If so, which one would be the most convenient? Could the new tools of communication help us enough to work at distance?…etc
A schedule has already been put into place that will lead us to have an online and evaluated pilot at the latest end of 2007. It will be the moment for us to continue our work in building new services and enrich the website with new content.
IPSO and the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie wish to thank warmly the Fondation des Treilles for helping them in their efforts to build a better Middle-East, and their gratitude goes especially to the memory of Anne Gruner Schlumberger.