1. What is E2K?
E2K or Excellence 2000 is the Israel Center for Excellence through Education’s largest international program,aimed at highly motivated and excelling students in the elementary, middle and high school systems. E2K reaches youngsters from all socio-economic levels and backgrounds across Israel and abroad. E2K challenges young people to explore their maximum abilities, take on school leadership roles, and reach higher educational goals.
2. Who are E2K teachers?
E2K teachers are chosen from among local school faculty and attend special training workshops presented by the Center's Educators Institute (EEI). In these workshops, they study advanced teaching techniques for educating outstanding students and are trained in the use of study units created by EEI specifically for E2K. The program is closely guided by academic supervisors and undergoes regular evaluations.
3. Who are E2K students?
Designed for youngsters in primary and secondary schools, E2K students are excelling students who are carefully selected and highly motivated. They commit to a minimum of four hours of participation each week. Students are introduced to advanced technological and scientific concepts and ideas that prepare them for thinking and studying independently and help them understand how to apply logic, mathematical and scientific thinking.
4. What is the E2K curriculum?
The curriculum and study units are focused on mathematical thinking and experimental science. The units were written by teachers and researchers from the Israel Center for Excellence in Education, the Israel Arts and Science Academy faculty, and members of Israeli academia.
5. What are the principles of the E2K curriculum?
The study units were written especially for the E2K program according to the following guiding principles:
· Material should be relevant to the students’ lives, stimulate curiosity, and increase motivation to study a phenomenon and its causes.
· Each unit should include three elements: stimulus, experiment and application. The instructional methodology encourages student involvement and reduces teacher lecturing.
· Experiments are easily accomplished in any school laboratory.
6. How are the E2K students chosen for the program?
E2K enrolls students who have demonstrated a high degree of interest, ability and motivation in any of the study fields. Students are identified by their capacity and motivation and are recommended by current or previous teachers. A special test has been developed especially for E2K by Szold Institute to evaluate student suitability for the program.
7. What is the size of an E2K class?
The maximum size of an E2K classes is 20 students.
8. How often do E2K classes meet?
Though schools have some flexibility in how they implement the program, E2K classes generall meet for four hours each week (two hours are devoted to science and two hours are devoted to mathematical thinking). The E2K program can be conducted partially during regular school hours and partially after school.
9. Are E2K students evaluated?
Participation in E2K is on a volunteer basis. While participation is expected, there are no tests, or homework in E2K. Moreover, there is no required amount of “given” material that needs to be covered in a specified school term. The only “evaluation” is whether or not the program is an overall positive learning experience for each individual E2K student.
10. Are E2K teachers evaluated?
The E2K program is closely guided by academic supervisors and undergoes year-end and interim evaluations.
11. What virtual learning opportunities do you provide?
The Israel Center for Excellence through Education provides a number of virtual/distance learning opportunities, including a virtual classroom, video conferencing, online teachers' forums and quarterly “bundles”.
12. Can you tell me more about the virtual classroom?
Utilizing basic internet technologies, E2K has created a unique distance learning program that has established an international learning community among all E2K schools. Virtual learning classes are broadcast live to all participating schools using internet infrastructures displayed on an overhead projector. A moderator stationed at our headquarters controls the flow of information.
13. Can you explain the quarterly “bundle”?The quarterly bundle contains professional articles, additional science challenge problems, puzzles, experiential assignments for students as well as scientific news that updates the teachers on developments in the world of science and technology. It has become a wonderful method of disseminating information. The “bundle” is a virtual pedagogic instrument, which helps maintain the connection between E2K classes and the fast-moving world of science and technology.