Israel's Junior Science Team prepares students toward the selection tests for Israel’s senior teams in Computer Sciences, Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics.
In the training process, students are exposed to the various scientific fields and mathematics on an academic level, and discover their main area of interest and their strengths. In parallel, students learn to become independent learners and to cope with challenges and difficulties. Emphasis is placed on game-based learning, on development of group cooperation, and on creativity. And all this is along with social activity, working within a supportive learning environment, and belonging to a high quality group in which science, mathematics and striving for excellence are emphasized.
The Junior Science Team runs for two years in 8th grade and 9th grade. Initially, students acquire thinking tools and a knowledge infrastructure with emphasis on mathematics. In the second stage, each student chooses to specialize in two content domains.
The team operates as part of a joint initiative of the Future Scientists Center and the Ministry of Education. The activities of the Junior Sciences Team are conducted at Tel Aviv University.
The central goal of the Young Science Team is to train students toward the selection tests for the senior teams that represent Israel in the international Olympiads in these science fields: Computer Science, Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. Emphasis in the team’s activities is placed on imparting tools for creative thinking and problem solving at the highest possible level. This is through the formation of a team and a strong learning and growth community in the sciences and mathematics, as well as the development of individual resilience and the ability to cope with complex challenges.
An important part of the team’s activities is devoted to gaming in mathematics and sciences.
These games are intended to build cooperation among members of the team, alongside development of competitive ability in the sciences and mathematics. Education-gaming permits advanced academic learning while building individual motivation among the students in the team, within an optimal learning environment.
Selections for the Israel Young Science Teams take place toward the end of 7th grade. The activities take place in 8th and 9th grades.
Stage 1 is an online test, done at school during school hours. Advance registration is required for the test, and it is recommended that students practice for the test using the exercises on the website. In order to obtain a user name and password for registration, students need to contact their science or mathematics teacher at their school.
The practice exercise and test registration website can be found here.
This year the Stage 1 tests were held on 15.5.18 and 24.5.18.
Stage 2 is a written test. The test includes open ended questions that represent modes of thinking and basic knowledge in the sciences and mathematics.
This year the Stage 2 test was held on 17.6.2018
This stage is a preparation and testing day, held at Tel Aviv University. The activities on this day include getting acquainted with the candidates for the team, and exposure to the team’s activity and content.
During the second part of the day the candidates will be given a relevant lecture, immediately after which they will be tested on the material provided in the lecture. The date for this stage will be publicized in the near future.
Activity and Content
In 8th grade, the students on the team are exposed to 4 content areas – computer science, mathematics, chemistry and physics – and will acquire thinking tools, with emphasis on mathematics. These content areas form the academic underpinnings on which will be built the advanced knowledge required of the members of the team.
In 9th grade, each student chooses to specialize in 2 of the 4 content areas studied in 8th grade. As part of this specialization, study of the selected fields is intensified, the pace of learning is increased, and the students will practice being tested at the Olympiad level.
At the end of 9th grade, the students on the Young Science Team can enter the selection tests for one or more of the senior teams.
Activity of the Young Team
The activity includes training camps, intensive study days, online regional meetings, and assignments between the meetings.
Training camps are held over 3 days, during which there will be lectures, individual practice sessions, guidance talks, quizzes, enrichment sessions, workshops, social activities, and so on.
Ties with the Senior Teams
The activity of the Young Team is intended to train its members toward the selection tests for the senior teams, and so the academic content for the Young Team in each of the content domains is set and developed in cooperation with the senior teams in each area.
The activity of the Young Science Team also includes familiarization with the senior teams – with the staff and with their activities.
Transition from Year 1 to Year 2 in the Youth Science Team: This is a transition from learning the academic basis to specializing in content areas, and is dependent on meeting academic threshold requirements. At this transition stage, the student chooses their areas of specialization, and the team staff checks the student’s suitability to the area.
Transition from the Youth Science Team to the senior teams: This is not an automatic transition. Each student has to pass the selection tests for the senior teams.