Dani Adino Ababa
Three 12th grade students, from the Ethiopian community, to meet Nobel Prize winners at an international science camp
For three youths from the Ethiopian community this summer vacation is going to be a very special one. Instead of hanging out in the shopping mall, at the beach or at the pool they are going to India where they will meet Nobel Prize winners and will represent Israel at an international science camp.
This year ten Nobel Prize winners, from various areas of science, will host 240 high school students from 24 countries at a science camp which is to be held in Mumbai, India in August. The youngsters will stay at the camp for ten days during which they will meet the Nobel Prize recipients and leading scientists personally, they will attend lectures about new developments in science and will take trips around Mumbai and the surrounding area. The scientists they will meet include Prof. Richard Ernst from Switzerland who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1991 and Prof. Makoto Koboyashi from Japan who was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 2008.
This year three 12th grade students from the Ethiopian community will represent Israel at the exclusive camp: Dudu Mashasham Almo Abara and Noa Yeshayahu. "The camp is a one-time opportunity to meet youth from all over the world who are interested in science," said Abara yesterday. Abara made aliyah at the age of 8.
Besides the science sessions the three youths will be able to enjoy trips in India. Yesterday, they said they were hoping to meet other Israeli trekkers during their stay there. "We also want to enjoy ourselves," they said. "We will spend our summer vacation there, and it's going to be a lot of fun."
The three youngsters who are to attend the camp are all top students on the Sparks of Science project, which operates at the Weizmann Institute in cooperation with the Jewish Agency and the Davidson Institute of Scientific Education, and is funded by contributions from the Federation of New York.
The project is designed to help youth progress in areas of science and technology, and 105 students from grades 9-12, from socioeconomically disadvantaged Ethiopian families, participate in it. During the program the students benefit from close mentoring by Weizmann Institute students. "The project has opened up a new world for me, and has given me the tools I need to handle the science subjects," said Yeshayahu yesterday.
Research conducted this year indicates that a quarter of the program graduates join the IDF as academic cadets, and the others find places in the country's leading higher education faculties after completing their military service.
"The Sparks of Science project is designed to help youth from the Ethiopian community to find their place in Israeli society and the Israeli economy," explained yesterday Elisha Hosman, director of the Jewish Agency's Youth Futures Division.
In addition to the three youngsters, another group of five talented students will attend a science camp in London this summer. The five include Daniel Elias, who participated in Sparks of Science project. Elias, who is a 12th grade student from the Ethiopian community, said yesterday: "My ambition is to come up with an invention that will impact on the whole of mankind, and will make a significant contribution to science."