A value-based, educational model in which in-depth physics studies serve as a platform for meeting the "other" through joint work in the field of exact sciences
ACHERET, A multicultural fellowship of researchers, is an educational model that has been active in high schools for more than 10 years and aims to instill the research approach as a tool for life. A special emphasis is given to recruiting, developing and training scholars from academia, industry and teaching as research experts who will provide students the experience of joint activities in a multi-cultural setting (teachers and engineers, secular and religious, Arabs and Jews, young and old) among neighboring schools and while conducting practical physics research.
Tomorrow's challenges require more than ever, learners who take high level matriculation exams in the fields of physics and mathematics. Already there is a shortage of teachers in physics, and as a result, there has been a decline in the number of students.
A groundbreaking approach to the study of research physics in a multicultural perspective invites the teacher and student to learn through research. We believe that high school graduates who acquire physics in this approach will grow up to be independent, curious, creative people who contribute to society.
ACHERET founded the "Archimedean Point" seminary, which trains research experts and establishes clusters of schools throughout the country, in order to expand the field of research physics in high schools. The seminary graduates become educational leaders in their schools who impact their entire community.
The seminary recruits scientists from the academy and industry who choose to join the education system and serve as a magnet for students who wish to integrate into the research physics classes. The seminary class of 2018-2019 will be the sixth class we open, and to date, nearly 75 research facilitators have been trained.
The clusters of schools operate jointly in a regional and multi-cultural format and constitute professional communities for research experts.
Joint research in a multicultural setting enables acquaintance, sensitivity and respect for others.
ACHERET activities in the field, while implementing the concept of research learning in research clusters, have led to a 30% increase in the number of students joining physics studies, with 42% of those joining the activities being girls.
ACHERET was founded in 2006 by the entrepreneur Mr. Moshe Reich, with the assistance and support of the Manor-Cabri Association, which serves as an organizational foundation for operating the program, and of Mr. Avigdor Willenz, founder of the Galileo Foundation, which is a key partner in the development and funding of the program.
Our partners include: ICA Foundation, Mate Asher Regional Council, Wortman Foundation, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science, Galilee Development Authority and Western Galilee Cluster of Authorities.
The current way of learning (particularly in science), does not meet tomorrow's challenges. Studying for exams alone does not prepare students for a rapidly changing world, which is characterized by constant threat to employment. This reality requires training for creativity and for coping in conditions of uncertainty.
In the physics profession, we are witnessing a continuous decline in the number of teachers and an increase in the average age of the remaining teachers. This is a very important factor affecting the decline in the number of students choosing physics.
According to Ministry of Education estimates, within ten years, there will be a shortage of about 500 physics teachers.
- Increasing the number of research instructors joining the education system by training 15-20 research facilitators every year – a two-year track.
- Retraining of 20 engineers a year as research facilitators – "from engineer to facilitator in high school" – some of them will join the ranks as volunteers.
- Retraining of 15 lab assistants as "research engineers" every year – "from lab assistant to research engineer" – supporting the creation of research plans and conducting research projects.
- Establishing 10 additional school clusters within 5 years – 2 per year – developing professional infrastructure and operation resources.
- Establishing a group of research cluster leaders to build (while learning from the field) the research physics profession and serve as a consultation group for regional leaders.
- To influence the study of physics in a research approach as part of the physics matriculation studies.
- The vision of a research physics profession based on the ACHERET model has been adopted by the Ministry of Education in 2017.
- Science and industry professionals joined the community of research facilitators and mentors of high school students – currently constitute about a third of the community of facilitators.
- Inspired and supported by ACHERET Center, nine research clusters have already developed and operate throughout the country in the ACHERET approach.
- Each high school student in ACHERET Western Galilee writes a research paper (100% of students vs. 3% in Israel).
- In the last decade, about 25% of high school research papers in physics in Israel were written by students of the ACHERET Western Galilee cluster. Today the cluster is leading the studies in a national pilot of research physics.
- The number of students studying physics was doubled in the Western Galilee.
- The number of girls studying 5-point physics in the Western Galilee cluster increased from 30% to 42%.
- More than half of the other students participate and study in multicultural regional groups with their neighbors from other schools.
- One-third of the physics teachers who joined the education system in the past two years came through the "Archimedean Point" seminary.
- The Ministry of Education has recognized the importance of the subject and has recently adopted a number of principles from the innovative model of ACHERET and approved a new profession – research physics.
- In 2017, the Ministry of Education entered into an agreement with Manor Cabri Association in the form of a joint venture, and today it is responsible for half the cost of the project. The contract period is for 3 years: 2017-2020.
- The seminary locates, absorbs and trains facilitators who work (during and after their studies) in schools in their area, expanding our impact to 1,500 high school students in the Galilee and another 1,850 in the whole north.