Southern Israel is sparsely populated and characterized by long distances between settlements. These distances limit accessibility to academic and research centers, to professional enrichment courses for teachers, students and residents. However, the extensive and diverse terrain holds great knowledge and opportunities to study topics such as: geology, archeology, ecology, birding, anthropology, alternative energy and more.
The Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, as a hotspot of pure and applied scientific research, brings cutting edge science to the scattered settlements. The education team works in collaboration with researchers to translate and implement the scientific knowledge in educational programs. Exposure to local knowledge through these programs reinforces the connection of the residents, students and adults to their natural environment. Advanced online learning technologies enable participation of distant students in the educational programs, limiting the need for multiple trips. Incorporation of these technologies in the development of curricula, allows us to expand our educational projects to regional and national projects.
Two such projects are already in progress: the “Human and Environment in the wide open space” network and the “maslulari” project. In addition, researchers support high-school students in active research projects. A good example is the “Ma’ale Shaharut” school in Southern Arava in which many students undertake such research projects.
Spread along the Israel – Jordan border, the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center leads a special program of workshops for students from both sides of the border. These educational workshops address issues related to scientific research and to the interactions between society and the environment.