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DEBBIE SASSON
First Place

6-8 | Social Studies | Other

Station GPB in Georgia

My Classroom Innovation

Israel Innovations Expo

In this project, students explored the variety of unique and revolutionary contributions that Israel has made to society. Israel has given in every field – agriculture, technology, medicine, arts, science, math, fashion and more. This project aimed to build an awareness of these contributions and instill a sense of pride among the students.

We began by identifying innovations, assigning groups to the topics, and then researching. The end product was an "Israel Innovations Expo" where students showcased their innovation in a number of ways. Students employed a variety of methods to present their topic, including Prezi, iMovie, PowerPoint and others. Topics for the project were categorized into 4 areas: Science/Technology, Medicine, Environment, and Culture/Lifestyle. They ranged from electric cars (Better Place) to laser keyboards, dolphin therapy to Pill Cam. Students examined the technology behind instant messaging and diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer detection. Other groups focused on art and culture, and learned about Blast Stools and Moroccan Oil.

Students worked collaboratively throughout the project and sought out information from leaders in the community and the world. They contacted CEOs of company’s and communicated with leaders in the various fields.

I used Israel's innovative "drip irrigation" technology as the introduction to this project. Using PBS LearningMedia video, "Water Conservation," we studied Israel's ability to recycle, or "launder" water. This video inspired students to examine other areas of innovation in Israel, emerging from its scarcity of resources.

Student engagement and motivation was very high and the Expo culminated in an award-like ceremony, modeled after the Academy Awards. Students completed a ballot, and awards were given in different categories.

Essential Questions for the project included:
What makes it innovative?
To what extent does society benefit from the innovation?
How does the innovation represent cooperation between Israel and other nations?
To what extent do you think Israel’s history produces innovators?

How Students were Engaged

Student engagement and motivation was very high and the Expo culminated in an award-like ceremony, modeled after the Academy Awards. Students completed a ballot, and awards were given in these different categories: Most Innovative, Best Example of Cooperation, Greatest Contribution to Society, Innovation I Want to See/Experience Most, and Best of (Category). Some groups built physical models for display and others produced videos to explain their innovation. In fact, students actually used some of the technologies in their presentation.

It was evident that the students took ownership of the project/innovation because of its relevance to their lives. Whether it was the group examining Oovoo, a video chatting application, or the students who explored EyeSight, gesture recognition technology, they were fascinated about how much innovation from Israel can impact their lives here.
Perhaps most rewarding was to see how the students applied new knowledge in the presentation of the innovation. Rather than just report on an exciting piece of art, the students fashioned it themselves. Their REcreation became an original CREATION. It was an opportunity for all types of learners to flourish, as they showcased their project. Furthermore, the project gave students inspiration to follow their dreams, pursue their passion, and love learning.

PBS Program/Content Used

Water Conservation