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INTRODUCING YOUTH TO THE ACADEMIA - THE INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION

A. Segal, D. Sussman, L. Rivlin, O. Kovo, A. Oni-Grinberg

Tel Aviv University (ISRAEL)
This initiative focuses on introducing teenagers to the academic world, which is inherently of international nature. The Dov Lautman Unit for Science Oriented Youth at Tel Aviv University has launched several collaborative projects that together form a comprehensive approach. English is chosen as the language for the international communication platform.

Our objective is to create an educational platform of an international dimension for the nourishment and development of youngsters, drawing them together through common involvement in courses. This program is designed to motivate youth to pursue higher education and encourage their international networking.

The international dimension encompasses 5 projects: International virtual e-classes; English summer camp on Tel Aviv University campus for non-English speakers; International camp on Tel Aviv University campus, Virtual multidisciplinary e-competition.

The first stage is to reach out and recruit the relevant populations. We have targeted middle school and high school pupils, from all sectors of society, that desperately seek intellectual challenges and are unable to find them in their own environment. We believe, that we should do our best for teenagers not to be cut off from their natural habitat, which is a requisite for their normal development. Thus we have designed these programs to provide a complementary framework. It emphasizes positive social behaviour, creating an active learning community and friendship.

The international initiative at the Dov Lautman Unit for Science Oriented Youth at Tel Aviv University has been very successful for over ten years, reaching over a thousand pupils per period, with a high percentage of resubscription, and a follow up program into undergraduate studies. As we are on the verge of enhancing our international collaboration, we expect to be able to reach further and make a substantial impact on youngsters everywhere.