University, middle school students wrap-up 2019 STEM Palestine in ceremony on campus

  • Abdelrahim Mousa speaking at the ceremony. 

  • The volunteering Birzeit University students. 

  • The attending ministry of education representatives (first row). 

Three hundred middle-school students celebrated the end of the 2019 STEM Education Palestine program in a ceremony held on Birzeit University’s campus on Thursday, August 8, 2019. 

The 2019 STEM program, organized by the Palestinian Ministry of Education, took place at all Palestinian universities across the West Bank and Gaza and familiarized students with the underpinnings of STEM education to encourage enrollment in hard science majors. 

As a principal partner to the program, Birzeit University hosted 300 middle schoolers from the Ramallah and Al-Bireh and Jerusalem districts, introducing them to concepts and topics in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in workshops that were held from July 2 to August 8, 2019. 

The program was administered by Abdelrahim Mousa, a professor of mathematics and STEM Education Palestine’s coordinator at Birzeit University, along with ten engineering and science majors who used live experiments and group activities to explain scientific notions and ideas.

In his welcoming remarks at the ceremony, Mousa gave a brief overview of STEM Palestine’s goals and explained that the participating middle schoolers were both introduced to concepts in STEM topics and familiarized with the university’s faculties and facilities, engaging in small-scale experiments.   

Mousa noted that the methodology used in the program was based on self-discovery, highlighting that the young students held the experiments and found conclusions on their own. He added that the volunteering university students had been trained by the ministry of education to set up and organize entertaining educational activities that engage the students’ imagination and pique their interest.

Bassem Erekat, the head of the Ramallah and Al-Bireh educational directorate who attended the ceremony along with superintendents, teachers, and supervisors from the ministry of education, praised the ministry and its partners for the unique, engaging teaching methodologies used in the program. 

Erekat said that the program is one of the many steps taken by the ministry and its partners in order to familiarize students with tertiary education and shape them into the future leaders of the Palestinian state.