What is the Archimedes project?
The Archimedes project aims to provide students who are interested in scientific subjects with an academic education in chemistry. Every year, about 50 outstanding pupils join the project. During the project, the pupils take courses in the Faculty of Chemistry at the Technion and earn academic credit points, which can be used by them later if they decide to continue their studies at the Technion, or at any other university in Israel. The project can last up to three years (if there are enough participants in the 2nd and 3rd study year), until the pupils have finished their high-school studies.
The Archimedes project goals are:
– Exposing scientifically talented pupils to the academic level chemistry. The project focuses on pupils with a natural propensity for excellence in math and sciences.
– Establishing a community of high-achieving chemistry graduates who will advance the chemical industry and academic research in Israel.
– Significantly changing the public image of chemistry as a profession, as well as the public image of the chemical industry, and highlighting the fact that chemistry comprises a large variety of modern technologies which are highly important to the Israeli industry.
– Creating awareness among pupils, parents and teachers of how important and central chemistry is for the Israeli high-tech industry.
The Technion is the only institution in the world in which three Chemistry Nobel Prize winners can be found. The Faculty of Chemistry of the Technion is known as a leading faculty both in Israel and in the world. These advantages make the faculty an ideal place for this project.
How is the project organized?
In the first stage, about 250 high-school students who are eligible for the program are located in cooperation with the schools.
In the second stage, during a trial month, the candidates begin to study their first course without paying the full tuition fee. The 50 most suitable candidates for the program are chosen based on their success during this period.
The studies take place on the campus of the Technion on Fridays. They last six hours and continue for two semesters.
In the second semester, a laboratory course in the Technion chemistry laboratories is added. Transportation from two central venues and back is organized for the pupils on the respective days.
After completion of the courses, the students are tested in end-of-term exams. The exams are identical to the exams written by the regular Technion students and take place on the same date as the Technion exams.
Pupils who successfully complete the first two semesters are granted credits toward their chemistry matriculation examination. The credits are given by the Ministry of Education, according to agreed criteria.
The project offers equal opportunities to all students, irrespective of their financial means and social background.
The whole program lasts three years (if there are enough participants in the 2nd and 3rd study year). In the course of the program, at least 30 academic credit points can be accumulated. Pupils who are interested in continuing their academic studies have the option to postpone their draft by the Israel Defense Force until the completion of their studies. The academic credit points they obtained remain valid for five years from the day of their release from the IDF.
The project is highly successful among the pupils and offers them a perspective for academic studies.
Pupils from the program “Archimedes” successfully participate in an additional project organized by the Technion Faculty of Chemistry – the “Chemiada”: A nationwide chemistry competition for pupils from grades 7 – 12.
Some of the students who excelled at the national competition take part in the preparations for the International Chemistry Olympics.
Graduates of the “Archimedes”-program represent a considerable part of those who won medals at the International Chemistry Olympics in the last ten years.