Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem
2010 – 2020 Summary Report

Open Access

As a science museum, the Museum sees it as one of its missions to help prepare the new generation to be responsible world citizens, capable of facing the challenges of the near future. These challenges require global solutions beyond all geopolitical boundaries.

Science museums offer open-access to knowledge as part of the understanding that sharing knowledge leads to new ideas, conservation of resources, and increased awareness of practical, local solutions to global problems. The Museum leads a number of cross-border projects, all of which address how best to share knowledge and bring about strategic and systemic change.

The museum sees it as one of its missions to help prepare the new generation to be responsible world citizens (Image by Avi Hayon)

Studies show that there is a direct link between education and the reduction of gender gaps in the workforce and the economy. Recognizing this, one of the Museum’s aims is to encourage girls to study science and technology in school and academia, and to pursue careers in these fields. In the last decade, the Museum has participated in a number of programs -both in Israel and abroad- aimed at increasing women and girls’ visibility in STEM fields, including the European project TWIST (Towards Women in Science and Technology) and its follow-up project, HYPATIA. As part of these projects, lesson plans and guidelines for teachers and informal educators were developed, and guidance sheets, recommendations and activities were created for researchers and engineers who volunteer in the education system. Everything produced was made accessible to all in an open-access arrangement. The materials as well as the theoretical framework developed were adopted by the Ministry of Education. Representative of the museum is member of the National Committee on Promoting Women in Science. In light of the experience gained, the Museum established and acts as an expert body in a national hub that recommends how to best locally implement the plans and activities created, including those developed by the other European partners.

Participants in Speed Dating in the EU TWIST project, 2011 (Image by Tomer Applebaum)

Research has shown that the last years of elementary and junior school are a crucial time for kids to develop a lasting interest in science and engineering. A global shortage of skilled humanpower in various fields of engineering has led the Museum to initiate, lead, and manage a large-scale EU-funded project, the ENGINEER Project. The purpose of the project is to encourage an interest in engineering from an early age; by exposing elementary and junior high-school aged children to the sciences, they can envision a future engaged in engineering pursuits. The project was based on a leading American project, Engineering is Elementary, developed by the Boston Museum of Science, as a result of the knowledge sharing in the museum community. As part of the project, ten learning units about various engineering areas were developed and then integrated into the science and technology curriculum in Israel. All its products are in open-access on the Internet in ten languages. The learning units were selected several times as “Best Learning Units” by teachers in Europe, as part of the European Schoolnet competition.

Students contend with a challenge in the EU ENGINEER project, The Swedish unit

A decade ago, as part of an EU project – 2WAYS- the Museum developed and supervises the Jerusalem Youth Science Parliament, which brings researchers and public figures together with young people to discuss complex ethical issues arising from research in the fields of science, technology, and culture. Since then, a Youth Science Parliament has been organized every year around a different relevant topic, and the results are shared with the general public. At the end of 2020, the Parliament addressed an issue that concerns all of humanity – life and society in the post-Corona period. Youth from Jerusalem met (on Zoom, of course) to discuss “the day after”; They met with academic experts, civil society organizations, and local and government authorities, were exposed to the complexities of relevant issues, held discussions with the help of facilitators, and formulated policy recommendations on education, urban planning, public trust, integrity, and privacy. The lectures, discussions, and recommendations were uploaded onto an online platform to allow other schools to hold similar discussions with their students.

Jerusalem Youth Science Parliament, 2020 (Image by Yael Ilan)

In the last three years, the Museum has broadened its commitment to the open-access methodology by publishing the Hebrew version of the open source science magazine, Frontiers for Young Minds (FYM). The Hebrew version of magazine- which was initiated by Prof. Idan Segev from the Hebrew University, who serves as its Scientific Director- is an online scientific journal for young people (ages 10-15), in which world-renowned scientists write articles on various scientific topics that are then reviewed and approved for publication by children. Young readers are exposed to innovative research from the forefront of science, and are inspired by the contribution of children like them. This uniquely Israeli model shatters the notions of what an academic journal is “supposed” to be. It allows direct meetings of children and teenagers with leading scientists from Israel and around the world, involves children in the publication process, and expands the accessibility of science to the younger generation. In 2020, in light of the Coronavirus, the Museum created 12 podcasts episodes around leading articles from FYM and distributed them to various platforms. To date, they were listened to by over 150,000 listeners!.

Prof. Idan Segev introducing Frontiers for Young Minds at the "Talking Science" event, 2019 (Image by Avi Hayon)

At the beginning of 2020, as a result of the closure , the Museum team, in consultation with the Board and with the help of external experts, began a strategic process focused on developing a new approach for online interactive programs. The team  devised new formats for offering open and accessible online activities to the general public, developed new activities for schools based on personal kits, recruited a digital team, set up broadcasting studios, and developed new capabilities that will continue to serve the Museum's activities for the next decade.

Shooting online activities at the museum, 2020 (Image by Yonatan Ben Haim)
Read more:
Innovation & Creativity
Interdisciplinary Science
Life Long Learning 
Equal Opportunity  
Science Across Boundaries
Open Access 
Care for the Environment