The Odyssey Program was inspired and initiated by the late President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres. The program was developed to nurture a unique scientific-technological group – a new generation of inventors and scientists in Israel who possess both the ability to lead and a sense of social responsibility.
The program includes academic studies in the sciences, alongside work in research laboratories. The participants acquire knowledge, skills and experience coping with complex problems, while accumulating academic credits. The program is implemented in parallel with formal studies and during vacation, the students participate in workshops and full-day intensive seminars.
The program operates through the Maimonides Fund’s Future Scientists Center, as a joint initiative with the Ministry of Education’s Department for Gifted and Talented Students and the National Cyber Bureau within the Prime Minister’s Office. Other partners in the program include the Rashi Foundation, the Jerusalem Foundation, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., SanDisk, Mellanox Technologies, and Keter
The Program’s Vision
The Odyssey program was established with the aim to identify, nurture and promote human capital in the State of Israel. Human capital is the country’s most important natural resource – the source for Israel’s trailblazing scientists and inventors. The Odyssey program allows Israel’s most outstanding students to realize their personal potential and become the next generation of leaders in research and development, in the academic world and in the workforce.
Aims of the Program
To shape the character of outstanding students, so that collectively they become a learning, investigative community – a “serving elite” in the fields of science and technology in the State of Israel, spearheading research, development and STEM education in Israel.
To identify talented students in 8thgrade, who have outstanding motivation and strong cognitive skills, and work to maximize their skills and education in science and technology, so as to increase the number of young people involved in scientific research, as a way of life.
To nurture excellence among outstanding young people, create desire to work in science and technology, and aspire to pave their way to become the future scientific and technological leadership of the State of Israel.
To encourage them toward high achievement by providing role models and setting high standards, both in the academic dimension and in the social and personal dimension; to encourage hard, challenging studies, and the development of critical thinking; to familiarize them with Israeli society and its unique issues, and impart a sense of commitment to society.To serve as an intellectual, research, social and ethical framework for the young people participating in the program.
The program is intended for gifted and talented students in 8th grade in the 2017 school year. These students need to have particularly strong educational ability, and should be oriented toward science and mathematics subjects. They need to be creative and inventive, and be seeking a challenge and interest outside the regular school framework.
Odyssey operates in 4 academic institutions, covering 4 years – from 9th to 12th grades. Participants are required to be active regularly attend the program sessions, in parallel with their school studies. This requirement includes workshops and vacation camps.
The program operates in a number of academic institutions:
Tel Aviv University – through the Tel Aviv Youth University
Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Belmonte Science Laboratories Center
The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology - Science and Technology Youth Unit
The Technion – at the Tel Hai Academic College campus
Ben-Gurion University – through the Jusidman Center for Science Oriented Youth