ORT Transforms Kiryat Yam into an Innovative Science Center
Kiryat Yam has become synonymous with World ORT in recent years, following our multi-million dollar investment into the town.
Upon its establishment in 2007, World ORT Kadima Mada (WOKM) quickly developed a partnership with the municipality and began working to advance educational offerings, for the benefit of Kiryat Yam’s children. Kiryat Yam, in Israel’s northern periphery, is now one of WOKM’s flagship YOUniversity Centers of Excellence.
At the request of, and in partnership with, the local municipality, WOKM has set about transforming the town, home to a large Ethiopian immigrant population, that has suffered from under-investment for many years.
WOKM invested in three affiliate schools – Rodman Junior High School, Levinson High School and Rabin High School. The investment in the town and the resulting new facilities attracted and incentivized local families who had previously been tempted to move away, to remain in the area. ORT’s long-term focus on Kiryat Yam has resulted in the municipality receiving the national education award from the Ministry of Education.
The D. Dan and Betty Kahn STEAM Center at the Rodman School provides much-needed STEAM educational opportunities for hundreds of Middle and High School children.
The Center was originally established more than 15 years ago to improve opportunities for students. The new STEAM facilities are built on the belief that in today’s ever-changing world, teachers and students need to engage in real-life multi-disciplinary scenarios involving concepts and ideas from science, technology, engineering, art and math.
The Center’s Maker Space includes 3D printers and robotics activities for students – it is a space for hands-on, multidisciplinary activities and provides opportunities that would not ordinarily be available to students in regular classes.
Our YOUniversity Kindergarten Robotics program – supported by the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation – has been running for over a decade, and currently encompasses initiatives at five kindergartens in Kiryat Yam. Five-year-olds are provided with Lego toys which they can assemble into robots in the shape of cars, cranes, and other similar objects. The children then play with the robots and learn to control them electronically.
A successful pilot program of Robotics for 1st Graders is also now running in Shirat Hayam School in Kiryat Yam, and expanding to 2nd Graders in the coming years.
The construction of a state-of-the-art auditorium complex in the town is close to completion thanks to the long-standing support of ORT donors including the Wolfe Family, the Farber Family, the Ishbia Family and the ORT America Michigan Region.
The Farber Family Auditorium Complex includes 550 seats and a building with 12 classrooms. Its distinctive foyer and main entrance hall are designed to host exhibitions and small gatherings and to welcome attendees to the center. The exciting new development represents a further multi-million dollar ORT investment in Kiryat Yam.
Discussions are also underway aimed at renovating the Mada Park Campus in the town. Established 15 years ago, it served as an activity center for residents of Kiryat Yam and the surrounding areas. It incorporates a number of science and technology labs, as well as an open-air science park full of hands-on activities that demonstrate physics theories, an oceanarium, a planetarium, a professional athletic field, an Ethiopian Heritage Center and a sea sports center.
The park was built largely thanks to the generosity of the late Betty Schoenbaum.
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