Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem
2010 – 2020 Summary Report

Life Long Learning

Science museums are uniquely positioned to raise awareness, understanding, and interest levels in science and the other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) disciplines. They know how to provide life-long educational experiences and inspire learners of all ages. Throughout our life we are continually learning- in formal and informal settings, through personal and social experiences, by trial and error, and through the integration of different and diverse fields of knowledge. With this in mind, all the projects and programs at the Museum are designed to make science accessible to all– ranging from science for everyone and science by choice, to science for outstanding students.

Early childhood holds a special place at the Museum, which offers a variety of programs and exhibits for young children. The museum team includes early childhood experts who offer cognitively age-appropriate content along with training for education team members.

Life Long Learning (Image by Avi Hayon)

Over the last decade, the Museum opened a new and innovative area, the early childhood Schechter Garden. The garden includes a Sandbox, with a sand-brick construction “site”, and a new preschool carpentry workshop, where kids and parents can work together with hand tools such as hammers, saws, drills, and screwdrivers with professional guidance.

The sandbox at the Schechter Garden, 2014 (Image by Avi Hayon)

Science Encounters are the Museum’s flagship program that takes place in conjunction with the Education System. The encounters are designed for kindergarten students until the end of high school, and cover a wide range of topics, some of which are integrated into the curriculum, and others which serve as enrichment. Over the past decade 716,549 participants have taken part in the encounters, which combine scientific experiments, workshops, guided tours, and more.

Science Encounters at the museum (Image by Michal Fatal)

As part of the Museum’s strategy of teaching scientific research and problem-solving through Project Based Learning, the Museum initiated Research and Problem-Solving Fairs for 6th and 9th graders, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education. In this context, every year, the Museum hosts municipal research fairs, in which hundreds of students from West and East Jerusalem present the research projects they carried out during the school year. The Urban Science Advantage program, initiated and led by the Museum in partnership with eight informal science education bodies and with the support of the Jerusalem Administration of Education, supports and assists students and teachers in carrying out the scientific projects.

Research and Problem-Solving East Jerusalem Fair (Image by Avi Hayon)

The Young Scientists and Developers Competition in Israel is a flagship program that encourages excellence in science and technology among youth. Since its inception, the competition has been taking place with the support of the Technology Administration at the Ministry of Education, and in recent years, with support from the Goren, Monti Ferrari Foundation, through  the Jerusalem Foundation. In 2020, the prestigious competition was held (online, of course) for the 23rd time! To date, more than 1,500 youth from all sectors of Israeli society have taken part. The entry threshold for the competition is very high, and every year it draws outstanding research and projects from all fields of science. Winners are privileged to represent Israel in competitions around the world: the global ISEF competition held in the US, the European EUCYS competition, and science camps in Europe.

The Young Scientists and Developers competition participants in the International Science Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, 2018

Teachers and educators are the key to developing knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values ​​among learners. Like students, teachers today are required to continue learning and keep up to date with updated teaching methods and pedagogies. Throughout the year, the Museum runs professional development courses for k-12 school and kindergarten teachers, including empowerment, enrichment, and advanced training activities. In the last decade 19,361  teachers and educators from all sectors of society have taken part in a wide range of advanced training and professional development. In accordance with the Museum’s advocacy of the MAKE educational pedagogy, the training courses take place in the Museum’s new MAKE laboratory, as well as in the Ministry of Education’s continuing education centers throughout community. In 2020, the Museum created a new program of online MAKE courses around kits that teachers received at home.

Advanced training and professional development programs for educators, 2016 (Image by Tal Bar Lev)

Learning takes place not only at any age, but at any- and all- times. Throughout the year, the Museum runs afternoon science enrichment classes for elementary and high school students, funded by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Jerusalem Foundation. Over the past decade, approximately 4,500 students took part in afternoon science enrichment classes, which are designed to encourage 'thinking with your hands', promote excellence, and foster coexistence and tolerance.

High school students at the museum's Make Lab (Image by Tal Bat Lev)

As part of the European Union project SySTEM2020, which includes institutions from 19 different countries, the Museum aims to understand what are best practices in the field of informal STEM education. It is hoped that the outcomes of this research will help to optimize the way to promote science education and to meet the new future model of “life- long learning”.

Science learning initiatives outside the classroom are crucial in educating and forming the next generation of researchers and innovators (Image by Avi Hayon)

Most of the visitors who come to the Museum in the afternoons, weekends, and holidays are families with children. The Museum places special emphasis on joint parent-child workshops based around "thinking with your hands"; events and activities such as The Rob Goldberg Machine competition and light- fixture building workshops in the MAKE Lab allow the whole family to create, experience, and learn together. In 2020, the Museum continued its activities for families and offered online activities during the holiday breaks and for special events.

Father and daughter at the Make Lab during the Lunar Landing event, 2019 (Image by Yael Ilan)

Reading together promotes literacy- including scientific literacy- among young children. Alongside the exhibition To Risk or Not to Risk, the Museum included a reading corner of children's books dealing with risk-taking. The books were accompanied by special bookmarks for parents, written by Prof. Ariel Knafo-Noam of the Department of Psychology at Hebrew University, which guided parents on how to open a dialogue with children after reading the book. In 2020, the Museum offered evening zoom sessions of scientists and parents with (slightly-older) children, focused around articles written in the scientific journal for youth - Frontiers for Young Minds.

To Risk or Not to Risk exhibition reading corner, 2018 (Image by Idan Vaaknin)

Thousands of adults took part in a variety of evening activities offered by the museum: Science from the Movie- the screening of a film and subsequent lecture by an expert - took place for several years at the Jerusalem Cinematheque; Science Café featured meetings with researchers and lecturers in the well-known Jerusalem coffee shop Tmol Shilshom; diverse lectures on a wide range of scientific subjects at our Lear Auditorim; and during the last years a series of evening events held at the Museum that combined science with music, dance, humor, cooking workshops and tastings, around the topic of the exhibitions.

Evening event for adults, 2019 (Image by Yael Ilan)
Read more:
Innovation & Creativity
Interdisciplinary Science
Life Long Learning 
Equal Opportunity  
Science Across Boundaries
Open Access 
Care for the Environment