September 25, 2011 Canadian Student at Technion’s 2011 SciTech Program

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Canadian Jewish News

Student Enthralled by Israeli Science Camp

By FRANCES KRAFT, Staff Reporter

Thursday, 15 September 2011

TORONTO  This summer, Yaakov Green, a Grade 12 student at Yeshivat Or Chaim, combined his love for Israel with his love for science as the only Canadian participant in SciTech 2011, a scientific summer camp at the Technion  Israel Institute of Technology.

Yaakov Green addresses fellow students, mentors, faculty and guests at the final assembly of the Technion’s SciTech program for high school students.

Along with a participant from London, England, Green worked with an Israeli Arab PhD student on her research project looking at the effects of the hormone angiotensin, which regulates salt balance and fluid balance in the body. They also wrote up the research and presented a poster on it at the end of the program.

Green spent about a week familiarizing himself with background material on the project before he left Toronto. It was a totally unique opportunity,  he said in a recent phone interview. It was really amazing. 

The 16-year-old was selected from the 44 participants to speak as student representative at graduation.

In his address which was attended by mentors, faculty and guests, including Peretz Lavie, president of the university  Green said the SciTech experience was uniquely challenging, fascinating and fun. 

Where else, he asked, can you feel cool about being a nerd?

On a personal note, he added, he’s always had a strong connection with Israel, citing the spirituality, culture and life  as aspects he loves. He has spent a number of summers at a kibbutz sleepover camp there, most recently in 2010 as a counsellor.

But never before have I been exposed to the side of Israel that it is so renowned for its science,  he added.

Green, who is thinking of a career in health sciences, credits his school for providing him with a good science education. I love sciences,  he said, adding that he finds anatomy particularly interesting.

He also liked the social and touring components of the Technion program, and the mix of people from places such as France, Serbia, Bulgaria, Italy and Israel. The latter group included Christian Arabs, Muslim Arabs and recent olim from Russia, he noted.

Everybody had a great time,  Green said. It was interesting to meet all these different people and hear about their countries, cultures and outlooks. It was a huge learning experience for me. 

SciTech  is a well-established international science and technology research camp organized by the Centre for Pre-University Education and hosted each summer at the  Technion. This program is intended for eleventh and twelfth grade high school students from around the world who have demonstrated an exceptional interest and ability in science and technology. This program brings together outstanding students from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Israel and elsewhere.