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The MDCs project in physics celebrates a decade

Trains high school students to serve as young instructors (medcim) for lower grade students and teaches them to perform experiential experiments

MDCs when demonstrating an experiment in physics
MDCs when demonstrating an experiment in physics
In the past, when students heard the words "physics experiment" there was a reaction of rejection, boredom and a complete lack of desire to deal with the subject. At the Gurlnik Institute for the Improvement of Teaching of Ort Israel they decided to change the approach and address the students in their language. For this purpose, about a decade ago they recruited high school students in order to expose the students in the lower grades to enrichment in the field of physics. The success of the first cohort led to the establishment of a prestigious and sought-after program called "Medtzim for Physics" which many high school students are now looking forward to, seeing it as a springboard to their success. Following the success of the project in the Ort network, it was also extended to schools outside the network.

On 23/3/10 there will be a 1885th anniversary event for the Medcim (young instructors) project in physics of the Gurlnik Institute in Ort Israel, which in the last decade has been supported by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science, the Sakta Rashi Foundation, Kedem Atidim, the Electric Company, Rona Ramon, the Yehal Foundation and more. The event will be held in the conference hall in Shafiim and its purpose: to salute the 28 graduates of the project and the XNUMX schools that operate it.

In the last decade, the number of young people who chose to study science and engineering decreased. The number of students who chose to study physics and mathematics at a high level is only about 8000 students per year. Less than 8% of students. These students constitute the scientific and engineering infrastructure of the State of Israel. From there the next Prof. Ada Yonat or the next Prof. Israel Oman may grow. Most students choose to study other subjects that are not scientific or engineering, so the number of graduates is even smaller.

Two decades ago physics and mathematics studies were considered prestigious and the students who managed to get accepted to these studies were considered the elite of the school. Since then things have changed. And students identify with the new models for imitation - from various reality shows and it seems that the desire to become famous in the name of advertising outweighs the desire to engage in a field with a significant contribution.

The Ort Israel Network decided to respond to the challenge and increase the number of students studying advanced physics in the State of Israel in general and the Ort Network in particular.

Dr. Meir Pershtman, head of Ort Israel's Gurlnik Institute for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning: "About a decade ago, we recognized the potential of students in the XNUMXth-XNUMXth grade who study physics at a higher level to serve as role models for young students from the XNUMXth grade level and to excite them about the challenges in their studies physics and thereby bring them to study increased physics. The XNUMXth grade students of the Madzim are trying to change the attitudes of the XNUMXth graders towards physics and to show by studying through subjects of interest to the youth such as - physics in an amusement park, astronomy, physics in aviation, physics in toys, light and radiation. The study is done in an experiential and fun way that includes conducting experiential experiments and experiences. In this way the physical concepts gain meaning and are understood. Also, as part of classes for training skills, the midgets receive tools to deal with a group as well as tools for personal and group empowerment".

Samdar Or, Director of the Academic Mentoring Unit at Ort Israel's Gurlnik Institute: "The project that started with a modest number of 40 midtzim has become an impressive number of 300 midtzim per year. The students participating in the midtzim project must invest a lot of time in training and transferring the class, as well as the lessons They are held during vacations and in the afternoons, yet every year hundreds of students request to join this quality group."

Today, schools from the entire social spectrum participate in the project - schools belonging to the state and state-religious sectors, Druze schools and schools from the Arab sector.

The result: 74% of the graduates of the Medcim program in the last decade and who study at the academy - study a science or engineering profession. In addition, thanks to the project, the number of high school students studying physics in schools across the country doubled from 8% to 15%.

These are just a few examples of the various and diverse experiments conducted within the project:

Electrifying physics - electricity and magnetism, physics in everyday details

  • - Flavored electricity - How do you build an electric circuit using Bambilik candies?
  • - How do you make an electric circuit from a nail, half a shekel and Coca Cola?
  • – What happens to a magnet that falls inside a metal tube?

Traffic in aviation - learn about traffic through aviation

  • - Flowering of blooming balloons.
  • - Flowering of small zeppelin ships
  • - Building an air car that operates on the basis of Newton's third law.
  • - Students who build parachutes and propellers.

Astronomy- experiments dealing with rocket propulsion based on Newton's 3rd law

  • - What actually causes an innocent bottle to be used as a water missile that explodes and flies in the air?
  • - What force can be exerted on a bar in order to convince it to move in the space of the room without having to touch it?

Light and radiation - models illustrating the behavior of light and colors

  • - Construction of a periscope by the students that illustrates the operation of the mirror
  • - Building a camera that illustrates its operation.
  • - Building an Independence Day lantern that spreads light using optical fibers.

Physics games - physical facts in simple games

  • - What sinks and what floats - a can of Coke or a can of Diet Coke? Peeled orange or unpeeled orange?

Feelings in physics - forces that can be felt applied to different objects

  • - What happens to a hard-boiled egg when you spin it at a high enough speed?
  • - What will happen if we spin on an office chair and while spinning we fold our hands (apart from the fact that we fall and break our hand)?

- What will happen to the water in the bottle if we puncture it and throw it from the eighth floor?

Physics in aviation - aviation and aeronautics through games

  • - Students build airplanes that perform the lift formula that causes the airplane to drop and take off several times until it hits the ground.

The Goralnik Institute is part of the Administration for Research and Development and Training in the ORT network. The institute carries out many activities that focus on the processes of improving teaching and learning, developing curricula and new study trends and implementing them, developing pedagogical-organizational processes in the school and implementing them, fostering a constant dialogue between teachers and students and promoting student achievements in diverse teaching methods. All this to increase the percentage of graduates eligible for a matriculation certificate and to improve the quality of the matriculation certificate.

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