The Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies, Sidney M. & Phyllis O. Bresler Foundation, and other partners have awarded Sela, our school in Washington, D.C., a two-year, $300,000 grant for its STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program.

The grant comes at a perfect time for Sela, which is well-placed to expand its STEM program and prepare students for careers that require math and science, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving. Sela’s STEM program is considered unique in the Washington D.C. area because of the school’s English/Hebrew instruction model that includes an emphasis on the culture and history of Israel.

Learning from Israel’s high tech and entrepreneurial culture is a great way to provide students with a model of creativity and innovation. Our connection to Israeli start-up culture naturally aligns with our teaching philosophy.

The grant will also help Sela incorporate several components in its growing STEM program; among them:

  • Classroom Integration:  Through a variety of lessons, students will use Chromebooks, digital cameras, digital video cameras, and a wide range of software programs.  Teachers will participate in professional development programs to foster their knowledge of technology.
  • Stations in the STEM Room:  Students will engage in the project-based learning activities at a variety of stations facilitated by the Interdisciplinary-Innovation Coordinator Consultant, STEM fellow, and/or teachers (such as a weather station, mechanical station, 3D printing station, etc.).
  • LEGO Robotics:  Students will enjoy designing and programming robotics projects that feature LEGO® MINDSTORMS® during after school enrichment classes.
  • STEM Projects: Students in grades K-2 will collaborate to complete STEM projects each semester that they will present to Sela students, staff, families, and community members.
  • Mobile Computer Lab:  Students in grades K-2 will participate in computer skills courses.  Students will learn how to keyboard, create word processing documents, building spreadsheets, create Glogsters and Wiki pages, conduct online research, and build multimedia projects.

Targeted funding such as that provided by this grant is immensely helpful to us as we continue to build our national network of schools – where exemplary, multifaceted education – in Hebrew and English – is always priority No. 1.

Jon Rosenberg President & CEO


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