Another year filled with a rich complement of activities under the auspices of Ramat Hanadiv's Education Department is drawing to a close. As always, there was a wide range of programmes for pupils in the state educational system, advanced training for teachers and upper-grade students, and conferences geared to other audiences. Some of these had notable value added as they fostered heightened awareness of nature and the environment and drew diverse populations closer to each other.
Pupils Reintroduce Rare Species
Pupils studying in Zichron Ya'akov at Keshet, the Democratic Pluralistic Jewish School (part of the Education Ministry's national religious system), shouldered the challenge of preserving rare species and returning them to nature. Under the supervision of their teacher Meirav Bakin and Ramat Hanadiv's team -- Dr. Racheli Schwartz-Tzahor, Dr. Yael Navon, and Tawfik Mahamid, they planted flowers along the path between Ramat Hanadiv's Nature Park and the neighbourhood of Zichron Ya'akov. The plants were not your usual petunias or marigolds, but two rare species, Tetragonolobus requienii and Xeranthemum ceylindraceum, which grow in Ramat Hanadiv's Nature Park. Their seeds were collected in the park and sprouted at our nursery, then, to the delight of nearby residents, the pupils returned the seedlings outdoors, planting them along the well-traveled path and getting high grades for their contributions both to nature and to good neighbourly relations.
Jewish and Arab Children Monitor Nature Together
For the past four years two nearby elementary schools, Daliot in Yokne'am and Hadshani Gimmel in Jasser al-Zarka, have participated in an educational project that involves pupils in an exciting international environment monitoring effort. They collect meteorological data, track vegetation, arthropods, butterflies, and more, in their nearby surroundings. Both schools upgraded their project by holding two joint monitoring meetings, one at each school. As the schools hosted each other's pupils, the youngsters had a chance to interact personally around their shared environmental activities and to get acquainted with their peers' school and town or village.
End-of-Year Conference for the EDU-LTER Programme
Two final annual conferences for the LTER-EDU programme were held in May. Eight elementary schools and five middle schools, among them both Arab and Jewish, secular and religious, and kibbutz and urban institutions, were represented. The young participants worked towards these events for months, summing up the data they had collected, analyzing their findings and finding original ways to present them to the assembled guests. Their very professional lectures, scientific posters, exhibits, and presentations demonstrated serious knowledge of the subjects they'd been studying and understanding of the significance of monitoring -- not to mention the huge amount of creativity and thought that went into the preparation of their materials.
For further information about Ramat Hanadiv's educational activities, and to coordinate specific activities, please call Lesley Yechezkel: 04 629 8108.