Scientists from Israel’s acclaimed Weizmann Institute have just written a textbook curriculum in Hebrew for middle school students that teaches the link between man and the environment. It recently won recognition by the United Nations educational unit UNESCO as a worldwide model for how environmental studies should be conducted.
Called the Blue Planet, the book and program focuses particularly on the water cycle in the Earth’s ecosystems, and is intended for use as an effective learning tool through its wide and systematic approach, including various activities, experiments and field work that will help develop young students’ thinking skills and understanding. The curriculum package is now being promoted internationally by UNESCO. The UN group is also financing the translation of this program into various languages (Chinese and Spanish), as well as overseeing its distribution throughout schools worldwide.
The ceremony for the Blue Planet launch was held in the EcoSphere - an educational glass-enclosed geodesic dome located at the Weizmann’s Clore Garden of Science, where a Spanish version of the book was presented to the UNESCO representative. In the near future, the authors of the book plan to visit Latin America where they will help teachers implement this educational program into their own curriculums.
The book is being launched launched by UNESCO’s deputy assistant Prof. Andras Szollosi-Nagy, from the water sciences division; Weizmann VP of Resource Development Prof. Israel Bar-Joseph; Prof. Nir Orion from the Science Education Department, who developed the program together with his former student Dr. Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf; and the Weizmann Institute’s Prof. Dan Yakir, who heads Environmental Sciences and Energy Research Department. ::via the Weizmann PR department