The idea of holding Hackathons for school children came from the acquaintance and experience of Galit Zamler, with the Hackathon events among the entrepreneurial community in Israel.
Hackathon events for students, teachers, and school directors in elementary, junior high, and high schools are focused on entrepreneurship. They are refreshing, varied, and encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset, creativity, and teamwork.
Hackathon is a combination of the words "Hacker" and "Marathon." It is an event where entrepreneurs gather together for X number of hours or days without sleeping, share initiative ideas relating to the Hackathon theme, examine them, plan them, and produce a prototype or a presentation and a pitch (a brief explanation for presenting the idea).
In the end, the ideas are presented to an audience and sometimes to a panel of judges, who choose the winning projects according to specified criteria.
In 2014, the Entrepreneurship for Kids program organized the first Hackathon for kids in Israel from four different schools and four different cities. Following its success, other schools asked to hold a Hackathon for their students/teachers.
Mrs. Zamler designs the Hackathons following the schools' needs in terms of student age, study hours, content, pace, and various abilities. In this way, Galit organizes Hackathons for students of different ages, teachers, and principals.
The Hackathon participants gain an empowering experience of entrepreneurship, creativity, and teamwork that enables them to feel what it is like to be part of the start-up nation.
On this page, you will read about the various Hackathons led by the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program and the Youth Entrepreneurship Program.
Organizing a Hackathon:
Hackathon organizers declare what the theme is about and ask for thoughts and suggestions regarding the subject.
Announcing the theme ahead of time enables forethought on the initiatives, making it possible to show up ready with whatever tools one requires to participate. Sometimes the goal is to come up with real projects that will be fully developed during the Hackathons. Sometimes it is only to come out with a piece of paper/presentation/model and concrete ideas.
Hackathon participation is done in groups. You can join in with people you know, but it is always preferred to join with people that you do not know, thereby widening your network.
The event starts with a themed presentation and a lecture by someone with expertise in the subject. Depending on the length of the event, it is possible to schedule more talks and workshops during this time.
Group members have a meet & greet, start discussing initiative ideas, convince their friends to focus on their idea, and, together, they decide on one project.
The event is held in the big hall so that groups can see and reach the other group members (e.g., on the way to the restrooms or to drink water), impress upon their work, their progression, their ideas, and consult with each other.
Every half an hour, the groups report on their progress to the event supervisors.
At the end of the Hackathon, representatives from each group present their innovative ideas in front of everyone. The expert panel members share their thoughts on each idea. Then, there is a voting session to rank the initiatives. In the end, the winners are announced. Sometimes there is a prize, but other times there is not.
A. D. Gordon School in Kfar Saba, under the administration of Gila Ben Yosef, is an incubator for self-expression and entrepreneurial thinking.
Towards the end of the school year, the entire school staff attended a Zoom training session with Galit Zamler.
During the meeting, the staff received guidance on how to lead a school Hackathon for the students, emphasizing the entrepreneurship experience, teamwork, integration of lectures, workshops, and the development of ideas for projects.
This is the first time that the school organizes a Hackathon for its students, and therefore they all were excited, both teachers and students.
In the morning of the event, Galit Zamler sent a message to all of the teachers:
"I'm proud of you that despite all the challenges in organizing a Hackathon nowadays, under all the restrictions of the Corona, you are leading a school Hackathon.
Thus you are giving the students an experience of entrepreneurship and creativity.
In doing so, you also serve as an example of a flexible mindset and coping with changing conditions, just like real entrepreneurs."
The Hackathon day was marked as a very experiential day, and Gila, the school director, summed it up in one sentence: "The kids loved the entrepreneurial thinking, and so did the teachers."
The pictures demonstrate the entrepreneurial atmosphere very well, and the abundance of ideas indicates creativity and openness.
School teachers summed up the Hackathon event as follows:
"I was pleasantly surprised by this day's success and the students' enjoyment.
I do not doubt that the kids enjoyed it because I came prepared for this day and got them all excited.
I realized that children, who never stand in front of a crowd, and some who are less talkative in school, suddenly stood up in front of the entire class and presented their ideas.
Great satisfaction to see how a child has succeeded in bringing himself to a position where he stands in front of the class and talks."
"The hackathon day (a combination of the words hacker and marathon) at the school, caused a great entrepreneurship celebration. We started the day with a class game that emphasized the differences between the students and the different way of thinking of each of us.
We discussed, "what entrepreneurship is?" And that entrepreneurship stems from a need or a problem. We experimented with creative activities where the children used their imagination and turned a drawing into something tangible.
We talked about teamwork, which is also one of the entrepreneurial skills. We watched a short film on that topic, and the students concluded that to succeed as a team, they have to trust each other, encourage, collaborate, listen, believe, and never give up. Finally, we read the book "What to do with an idea?". Following this, the children were asked to experiment with teamwork and come up with an invention together.
The children came up with some amazing inventions: a new ice-cream flavor: blueberries, strawberries and frosting, X-ray glasses, and Mr. emotions - a doll that enhances the baby's world monster doll and many other examples of fantastic ideas.
I really enjoyed the children and their endless creativity, collaboration, thinking ahead, and amazing teamwork. I would love to have such activities throughout the year.
Such days encourage creativity, collaboration, innovation, discourse among the students, and, most of all, high motivation and joy."
"This hackathon was very successful. Nowadays, the younger generation is used to have everything here and now immediately.
The hackathon met all of their needs and habits. It was dynamic, exciting, and engaging. Throughout the entire day, the students were exposed to the entrepreneur's expertise, stories, and problems (riddles) that made them think outside the box."
"This hackathon event took place at our school as a record day of initiatives marathon on a limited time.
The students enjoyed an experiential day rich in content on ventures, inventions, the process of carrying out an idea or a dream, a team collaboration to promote the initiative, and so on.
The students in my class had a great time. The vibe was good. The students thought about their creative initiatives, and I learned that you could find in each student some great ideas that only need an opportunity to carry them out."
"The hackathon in our class was very successful. It's our first time experimented on such a day of activities. This day allowed them to express themselves and showcase the skills and tools they acquired throughout the year.
This day's intensity contributed a lot to the students to do so much and in such a short time. We felt that they reflected what they had learned throughout the year on this day.
This day gave out good vibes in the class. The students were very excited to present their outcomes and worked hard on their pitch (60 seconds speech).
The students' outcomes were very impressive, and one could see they were working of genuine interest and curiosity."
"The hackathon that was held in my class was very successful. I have to point out that it was contrary to my expectations.
I was sure that it was going to be a "hard day" that would go to waste and that the kids won't really understand its essence.
But the kids demonstrated entrepreneurship at its best. They came up with creative ideas and thought out of the box."
The Entrepreneurship for Kids Program took the entrepreneurial activity a step forward.
Galit Zamler recognized a need to ease it on the teachers, to catch the students' interest, and to solve problems and hardships that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is bringing upon us.
The program invited schools to join the first virtual hackathon for students in Israel under the subject of "Dealing with the Coronavirus."
All details about the online Hackathon, participants, winners and the announcement event are on the Vickathon - Visual Virtual Hackathons' page.
A delegation of parents and children from China came to visit Israel to get to know the country, which is considered one of the most entrepreneurial in the world.
To enhance the experience of the visit and to understand the mindset of Israeli entrepreneurs, the members of the delegation took part in a mini-Hackathon for both parents and children.
We held the event at Saronahub - Youth Entrepreneurship Center in Tel Aviv, during which the participants experienced an intensive entrepreneurship process.
It was the first time the Chinese group had heard the word "Hackathon," and they had enjoyed all its stages.
After an introductory lecture and activity that fosters creativity and imagination, they worked in groups, came up with ideas for ventures, of which they chose a particularly successful one. Then they presented their best ideas in an entrepreneurs' Pitch style and finally voted on and chose one winning venture. The winners got prizes.
Examples of innovative ideas raised by participants:
- Clothes that can be eaten
- Use a phone to regulate the temperature of clothes
- Use flowers to create clothes
- Try on clothes on phone
- Trash's resources become cars' energy
- Clothes with a phone screen
The participants who enjoyed the entrepreneurial event said that time had passed quickly. That's how it is when you're having fun:)
Galit Zamler conducted a Hackathon-style preparation day at the religious school, Hevron for boys, in Kiryat Arba led by Rabbi Shlomo Levinger.
This was the first time the school staff attended a Hackathon. The goal of the event was to develop applicable and well-planned initiatives that will improve the school climate and improve student achievement.
During the event, the teachers were exposed to enrichment lectures on Israel as an entrepreneurial state and the importance of entrepreneurship education. They also learned about models to develop projects based on a business plan.
The teachers took part in creative thinking workshops, learned how to present an idea, and enjoyed an activity on entrepreneurial skills as life skills.
Teachers had an experiential and practical learning day, during which they came up with many ideas for the initiatives, and built work plans for ten initiatives that achieve the defined goal. All initiatives can be implemented at the beginning of the school year.
By the end of the event, a competitive vote was held, and four leading initiatives were chosen, which teachers will lead to realization.
Galit Zamler led a day of preparation for the staff of the "Alonei Mamre" school headed by Mrs. Yael Klein, in the style of a Hackathon in the context of the school vision.
Before this day, the teachers had gone through a process of raising dreams and defining a school vision with Mrs. Ayala Fisher, so the Hackathon was called "From Dreams to Initiatives."
At the event, the teachers worked in pre-defined groups, raised many ideas for initiatives that fulfilled the vision, and then filtered them according to the criteria defined by the management staff.
Although the process of screening ideas was challenging, each team chose only one idea and developed it according to a business plan model.
The teachers presented the final ideas to their peers, and they were put to the vote. Thus, three final ideas were chosen to be implemented by all the teachers, according to their preference.
All of the teachers' ideas for initiatives that did not reach the final stage will serve as a repository for projects for future realization.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Education through the Pisgah Center in Kiryat Arba, the Gush Etzion Regional Council, the Efrat Council, the Herzog Academic College, and the Mattei Yachdav organization, a regional Hackathon was organized for principals, teachers, students, and parents.
The theme of the event was "A Winning Integration of Students in the Classroom."
At the next stage, Galit Zamler explained to the participants what a Hackathon is, and led an experiential workshop on the 21st Century's skills, which enabled the various team members to know each other's strengths.
From here, we moved to a brainstorming session and raised ideas for teaching adapted to all students through a future-oriented pedagogy.
Each group chose their best idea, presented it to the attendees in an entrepreneurs' pitch style.
Students from six high schools within the settlements Efrat and Gush Etzion participated in a Hackathon.
The theme was: "Yesterday's materials are tomorrow's future."
The Hackathon had two parts. In the first part, there were two events, one for boys and the other for girls. The students learned what a Hackathon is and how they can enjoy it and succeed in it.
These students took part in such an event for the first time, so none of them knew what to expect. This did not keep them from engaging in open conversations with excitement and creativity. Their interests and shared ideas helped these young leaders stay on track and succeed.
At the end of the first session, the student groups came together to focus on one clearly explained idea based on predetermined sets of requirements. Their focus included creativity, project realization in the community, and relevance to the determined theme.
The second part of the Hackathon was for both boys and girls together and went into the night. Event winners received prizes to help supply initial funding for the projects they would create.
Student ideas included:
- Smart shopping cart
- A voluntary educational platform to allow shared information and aid to those who sign up for the system
- Social project to collect eyeglasses for those who in need
- Vehicle fuel by organic manure
- Electric wheelchair
- A tent in a bag
- A tent which includes a shower
- Collaborative community bicycle venture
- Collaborative vehicle service to drive residents of Gush Etzion settlements
- Collect and fix costumes to give to needy residents
The director of education in Kiryat Arba organized a Hackathon for seventh and eighth-grade students in the junior high school of the Yeshiva (Yatka) and students in the seventh and ninth grades in the Ulpana.
The Hackathon was held in three sessions, and it culminated in a community evening in which two finalists from each school presented their projects to the Kiryat Arba residents, well-known entrepreneurs, and judges.
At the first meeting, the students learned for the first time what a Hackathon is, after preliminary signs in the school aroused their curiosity.
This session exposed the students to the subject of entrepreneurship to develop their entrepreneurial and creative thinking and to encourage them to participate in the next two meetings of the Hackathon, which had limited enrollment.
The introductory meeting, the teasers, the recruitment of the teaching staff, and the competitive atmosphere made more than sixty students register for the Hackathon.
About 30 students from the Ulpana gathered in the hall around tables and raised innovative ideas for projects on social entrepreneurship and cleaning products.
Each group had a mentor who helped them formulate ideas.
The students heard a short lecture from Galit Zamler on techniques for creative thinking in entrepreneurship and then raised many ideas for projects, which they had ranked, and chose only two for voting.
Six selected ideas were finalized. The girls developed them toward the semifinals of the competition at the school.
A similar event was held at Yeshiva high school, with more than 30 students eager to bring up and develop innovative ideas in the fields of science, technology, and cleaning products, knowing that eventually, they would compete in the finale against the Ulpana girls.
For the third encounter, the students came with the equipment and tools they needed to build a model of their ideas.
After building models, they prepared pitches and presentations to present the projects.
After a few hours, the school children gathered, and the entrepreneurs presented their inventions. Each school held an internal competition between the various groups.
Digital voting allowed each student to choose only two projects, by which two finalists were selected at each school.
The following projects were presented at the Ulpana:
1) Clean Slot (in Hebrew) - A toilet cleaner used by pressing a button
2) Easy Busy - An adjustable eraser for the school board so that it will always remain in place and won't be lost.
3) Owl Test - An owl test embedded in a vehicle to protect against drivers who drink too much alcohol.
4) Kifafa - A glove with a clean dish sponge.
5) Light night - A bag that glows in the dark.
6) Cart fix - A three-wheeled supermarket cart, easy to drive.
The presented projects at Yatka
1) Charging cart - A baby carriage that charges your phone.
2) Cool Bag - A backpack with a cooling system.
3) Electric cart - An electric supermarket cart that drives itself to make it easier for customers.
4) Removable garbage bags without the need to be replaced by.
5) Pencil Pen - Instead of lead, it has a liquid-like writing ink that can be deleted by a regular eraser.
6) Mototon - A broom with which you can clean dust over the cabinets
A large crowd came to see the students presenting their projects on a summit evening at the Heichal HaTarbut. An experienced panel of judges chose the three winning groups who won prizes.
Yael Hazan, the scientific education coordinator, summarized the experience this way:
"We finished the internal competition between the two schools.
It was enriching and impressive to see the hard work of all the groups in all areas. The students were required to prepare a representative prototype and a speech for marketing the product.
There is no doubt that a combination of all of these brought the results of the voting. Of course, the target audience is also a factor.
Anyway, thanks to the fantastic Galit for the extraordinary journey that the students went through.
Congratulations to the excellent teachers and staff, headed by Arie Sod in the Ulpana, Rabbi Menachem Saadia, and Michael Fasi in the Yatka Junior High."
The students of the two seventh-grade classes at the ORT Holon campus participated in three days of Hackathon during which they learned how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and think creatively about project ideas, make prototypes and present them to parents in the Elevator pitch style.
Being exposed to the entrepreneurial world inspired them to think like entrepreneurs, and the students began to ask many questions, both topicality and smart. All of them got answers that encouraged them to be critical thinkers.
Photos of the first session, where the students were divided into groups and thought about ideas for projects, and then showed them in the class:
In the second session of the Hackathon, the students chose a limited number of ideas from those raised in the first session.
Then, each team focused on one project; they developed original ideas, defined a need, a target audience, they thought why the idea is worth working on, and what was needed for making it real.
The students learned what an elevator pitch is, what it answers, and how to differentiate themselves so that others will listen to them.
Pictures from the second part of the Hackathon:
In the third and last part of the Hackathon, the students were creative, able to work in teams, and could cope with challenges when asked to prepare models for their project ideas.
Each group prepared a prototype to illustrate the invention. They used certain accessories provided to them, and they all succeeded in building a model that conveyed their concept.
After constructing the models, the students presented the ideas to their classmates.
The fifth graders who learned about the natural resources participated in a Hackathon of three meetings under the direction of Galit Zamler and Nimrod Segev.
During the first encounter, students were exposed to the entrepreneurial world in the context of natural resources.
They saw how innovative projects that exploit natural resources could improve our environment.
Then they began thinking about the professions that will become redundant in the wake of those ventures and which new jobs may come up because of this.
After the exposure stage, which excited the students, they were given a task to work in groups.
Each group received a panel that helped them to think about creative, entrepreneurial ideas, which made use of the sun and water as natural resources.
Each group formed 2-4 ideas for projects, and, at the end of the meeting, we hung up all the ideas so that everyone could see them.
In the second session, the students voted for the projects that they would most like to implement.
They then analyzed the need for the project, the target audience, what it takes to complete the project, and who their competitors are.
All groups pitched their ideas while paying attention to the correct stance when in front of the audience. Their classmates asked questions to understand the concepts better.
The last meeting was named "Hackathon." Before this meeting, the students brought the equipment and accessories needed to build the models for their ideas.
The children gave their product a name, defined the need it meets, and its target audience. Then thought of a marketing slogan, asked questions, and drew a diagram of the model that they were planning to build together.
The children enjoyed the whole process, especially the prototype building stage in teams, and at the end of the day presented the models to their classmates.
At the end of the meeting, school principal Dorit Nevo wrote: "Amazing process! Recommended for all ages."
And science teacher Michal Ronis wrote:
"It was amazing!
Nimrod and Galit Thank you very much!!!
A real example of meaningful learning."
Students in the Amirim program at the Hashalom school in Mevaseret Zion participated in their third year of entrepreneurship lessons from the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program, led by vice-principal Sigal Bar. She organized a real 24-hour Hackathon event at school.
Sigal summed up the entrepreneurial studies and the Hackathon event as follows:
Yesterday, a group of students from the Amirim program graduated from the 3-year entrepreneurial studies program, in which they learned about the entrepreneurial world, met entrepreneurs, developed business and social projects, and even got published in the newspaper.
This year, each young entrepreneur developed his or her project. The prototype projects were created by the students yesterday during the 24-hour Hackathon, which included: creating prototypes, relaxing activities, lectures on entrepreneurial rhetoric by Ronit Meiri, and marketing by Sharona Zohar.
The students worked at the school and completed the construction of prototypes at 3:00 a.m. The final products are amazing and creative.
The future generation of the HaShalom students is ready, sharp, creative, loves to learn, curious, and, most of all, proactive and well prepared for the 21st century.
Among the projects were: a magnetic board for Alzheimer's patients, a tri-headed bottle, a portable clothing rack for the pool, beach, and home, a device for quickly finding jewelry, a computer mouse with an attached pad, a mechanical pencil set with replaceable erasers, disposable bags for squeezing lemons...
Thank you, Galit Zamler for your guidance over the years!"
A summary of the HaShalom school Hackathon:
The first Hackathon for elementary school students began during the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014.
The Hackathon was divided into three meetings; each one was held at a different school. Participating schools: Kaplan from Petah-Tikva, Yad Mordechai from Bat-Yam, HaShalom from Mevaseret Zion, and Alumot from Tel-Aviv.
Here is a summarized presentation from all three meetings:
The first to take up the glove was Tali Toledano, the Kaplan school principal in Petah-Tikva. Her school has engraved on its flag the education for entrepreneurship.
Tali immediately liked the Hackathon idea and asked other schools to join the experience:
Please forward the following to the principals. Thank you.
Global Entrepreneurship Week gives us a chance to teach, practice, initiative, and explore.
Among the many activities during this week, we will host entrepreneurs from different fields that will inspire our students.
Thanks in advance to Galit Zamler for her help, participation, and organization toward this week.
This year, we plan on holding a Hackathon, meaning entrepreneurship conversations that will include students from different schools to create cooperative initiatives.
During the year, we will be happy to come to schools that took part in the week and continue working together to further our initiatives.
At the end of the year, we will hold a cooperative initiative fair.
Those interested in more details are welcome to contact me.
Have a great year.
Three schools responded to the call - two principals and a vice principal that, like real entrepreneurs, got out of their comfort zone and decided to join the Hackathon, even though they have never participated in one before.
We shall note that this is exactly how Galit Zamler educates for entrepreneurship.
The schools are:
The Yad Mordechai in Bat-Yam, run by Avivit Misterial, that teaches entrepreneurial forethought.
The Alumot school in Tel-Aviv is headed by Anat Blair. The school joined those who teach entrepreneurship classes in September 2014.
The HaShalom school in Mevaseret Zion, led by vice-principal Sigal Bar, who teaches the EFK Program to a group of gifted students.
Thus, the Hackathon for four different schools from four different cities was born.
The first meeting was designed to be a meet & greet between entrepreneur students, focusing on five subjects, of which initiatives will arise from choosing 2-3 ideas for each issue.
At the Kaplan school, a team led by the science teacher, Liat Ben-Moshe, was chosen, and the group planned the first day of the Hackathon meticulously.
This very special event was named "Hackathon - a one mind initiative." The name expresses the entrepreneurial thinking shared by students from different schools across Israel.
The subjects defined for initiative idea hashing were: technological initiatives - patent inventions, school initiatives, social initiatives, ecological/environmental initiatives, and initiatives on "The Other is Me."
Students from the four different schools divided into groups ahead of time, based on the defined subjects and showed up with ideas for ventures.
Badges were made for the students with their names and colored according to the subject. Thus, the students could identify their groups before getting to know students from the other schools.
A detailed schedule was planned for the first day of the Hackathon, which included:
- An acquaintance game between group members
- A show & tell round of initiatives previously worked on according to the subject
- Idea basket: group thinking about initiatives, according to the subject
- Merging of every two groups dealing with the same subject
- A plaque is made for the ideas that were displayed
- A poll about every idea to be filled out together before the next meeting
The first Israeli Hackathon for students grades 4th to 6th was set for November 19, 2014, during the Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The morning began with great anticipation as buses with students from entrepreneurial schools arrived.
The tables were arranged according to the groups and categories in the school auditorium.
Upon their arrival, the entrepreneurial students wore the pre-made tags.
After the assembly at the hall, a meet & greet was held for group members using an acquaintance game in the vein of "Truth or Dare." Questions were prepared in advance and focused on the entrepreneurship subject.
Afterward, the entrepreneur kids shared initiatives they had worked on in their schools, and, together, they prepared an Initiative Basket to enrich the knowledge of each school.
When everyone felt acquainted, they began presenting their ideas to the other group members.
At this stage, to provide a calm and quiet environment for discussion, the groups moved to other areas of the school, accompanied by a chaperone teacher who served as a mentor.
Every group came up with many ideas. Later, the ideas were tested according to the following questions:
- Who thinks the idea is good?
- Who thinks the idea is important?
- Who thinks the idea can be common for all schools?
The answer to each question was given using colored cards of red, yellow, and green.
This way, every group chose up to three ideas.
All eventually chosen ideas were written on construction paper.
The ideas were all assembled in the main hall, and proud students took photos with their certificates for participation in the first Israeli Hackathon for young students.
The first part of the Hackathon came to a close with the creation of a joint market poll, uploaded by the students using Google Docs, and it was their task to show up with poll results to the second part of the Hackathon.
Administrative staff summary
Efrat Iger, Israeli Art and Culture teacher at Kaplan school:
"I enjoyed it. The kid's points of view were unlike the adult's. I enjoyed seeing the kids' respect for one another, the encouragement, cooperation, and group thinking even though they did not know one another."
Liat Ben-Moshe, Science teacher at Kaplan school:
"I feel as if after giving birth. During a month and a half, I worked on all the small details and coordination, and to see the final product at the end was terrific. I think the kids don't need us. They are enthusiastic and looking forward to the next meeting."
Ifat Avigad, Science teacher at Kaplan school:
"The event of meeting children where they exchange ideas and opinions is an initiative in itself. I understand that this is how a Hackathon is going, but I was missing time."
Dina Liberman, Kaplan school:
"It was wonderful. Talking to the kids about what you learn outside of school, identifying a need, a problem, an opportunity for initiatives, and encouraging out-of-school thinking. I developed the tool for choosing between alternatives, which we used to vote for the top ideas. I have no doubt we are dealing with quality, charming kids; I felt like we were all of the same school."
Sigal Bar, Entrepreneur coordinator, and Vice-Principal at the HaShalom school:
"It was delightful and very well organized. There were many ideas. "
Orly Maimon, Entrepreneur coordinator at Yad-Mordechai school:
"Thank you for hosting and for the idea. The meeting was excellent. You managed to bring them to faraway places in a limited time."
Ronit Cohen, Entrepreneurship teacher at Yad-Mordechai school:
"The art of cooperation that brings the kids to a sort of small global village is fantastic, and that's not just a saying. It's a reality, too. Cooperation between schools should be encouraged. It was a unique visit and brought out amazing product ideas and creative thinking."
Hava Matityahu, Kaplan school:
"An empowering, straightening project. It's heartwarming to seehow much there is a desire to initiate among the children. The way they spoke to each other despite not knowing before, the involvement, the caring, the goals they set for themselves for future mutual initiatives..."
Tali Toledano, Kaplan school principal:
"The connection between the children is something that can go forward. When we heard how they conversed and listened to one another, we saw that the sky was the limit."
Ben, a Yad-Mordechai student:
"I was in the group of 'The Other is Me' and had fun. We brought up all kinds of ideas, like how to open a dialog between healthy and physically challenged people. We cooperated and succeeded."
Helene, a Yad-Mordechai student:
"We worked well together and came up with a lot of initiatives. It was fun."
Noah, a HaShalom student:
"My group's subject was the environment. We cooperated well. Everyone pitched an idea; we had many. I felt the consolidation with the group."
Shira, a Kaplan student:
"My group dealt with initiatives within the school. It's a subject that I like very much because I love contributing to students in school. Hashing out ideas and working together was fun. I enjoyed improving ideas, and no one was shy about sharing their thoughts."
Bat El, Alumot student:
"Coming up with ideas was fun, and there was a lot of cooperation."
Noa, a Kaplan student:
"My group was 'The Other is Me,' and we worked well together; it was fun."
Omer, a Kaplan student:
"My group's subject was 'social initiatives.' It was fun to come up with activities. We worked together and had a good time. We were open-minded and creative. We developed many initiatives that will benefit both ourselves and others."
Karin, a Yad-Mordechai student:
"It was a lot of fun. We worked together, even after splitting up into groups."
Hila, Alumot student:
"It was fun to work with kids I didn't know. We came up with some great ideas and enjoyed ourselves."
Adam, a Kaplan student:
"It was nice to meet kids from other schools and listen to their thoughts."
Eva, Alumot student:
"I had so much fun working with the team because there was no fighting; there was cooperation, and it was pleasant."
Matan, Kaplan student:
"My group dealt with 'technology initiatives.' We discussed patents to improve the school. For example: when the kids get up to throw a paper away in the bin, it disrupts the class, and so we thought there could be a small bin for every group of kids. Therefore, fewer kids have to get up. We came up with other patents to benefit the school, as well."
A summary presentation of the first Hackathon session at the Kaplan school in Petah-Tikva:
The second part of the Hackathon was held on December 12, 2014, and the Yad Mordechai school in Bat-Yam, run by Principal Avivit Ministerial, hosted the event.
Orly Maimon, entrepreneurship coordinator, and Ronit Cohen, Innovations coach at the school, planned this entire day.
In the inner hall of the school, where all participants gathered, the tables were arranged in groups according to the entrepreneurial fields. Every student was given a folder, including the schedule for the day, business cards to be filled out, and other materials to serve them throughout the day.
After an acquaintance exercise, the students divided into workgroups, each accompanied by a chaperone from the school.
Karen, Ronit, Sigal, Michal, and Orly guided the groups.
The first task of the groups was to reduce the number of ideas chosen during the first part of the Hackathon down to one idea per group.
By prioritizing the ideas, the students weighed the pros and cons of the preferred idea, for example:
- A more useful idea
- An idea that answered a real need
- A doable idea
The students discussed the ideas, trying to convince other groups to follow theirs, and then a vote was held using stickers. Every student placed five stickers on the ideas they liked. The idea that earned the most votes was titled as the winner.
The favorite ideas were:
- Games for people with disabilities
- Star of the week
- AFC (Activities For the Community)
- A non-biodegradable product fair
Action Plan and Marketing Plan for Ventures
Group members divided tasks amongst themselves and worked on:
Bringing the initiative to life - using a model, drawing, presentation, article, etc.
Building a work plan to execute the initiative
Building a marketing plan for the initiative
End of the second day of the Hackathon
The young entrepreneurs were pleased with the choices they've made, and they gathered in the hall.
The ideas were presented using whatever illustrative tools the students chose:
The third session of the Hackathon will be hosted at the HaShalom school in Mevaseret Zion. By then, the students will work to implement at least one of the ideas chosen by their school and will share the experience.
Before the students dispersed, they received a gift from the hosting Yad Mordechai school: a pocketbook specially designed for the entrepreneurial atmosphere.
At the end of the second day of the Hackathon, the entrepreneur kids shared what they have learned:
- I learned to cooperate and reach a consensus
- I learned how to pick a doable idea
- I learned to think twice before making a decision
- I learned that it was possible to create an initiative and have fun doing it
- I learned about the hardships, advantages, and disadvantages of being an entrepreneur. It'll be easier from now on.
- I learned what I could do with recycled materials
- I learned to think outside the box
- I learned to consider all factors before suggesting an idea
- I learned how to showcase my initiative and describe it, as well as the categories that are needed to illustrate the idea
- I learned that if I want it, I can make it!
- I learned to work together
- I learned to compromise and work in a group with people that I did not know so well
- I learned to help others and to weigh the options when picking an initiative
Others shared their experience:
- It was really fun. I enjoyed and learned how to develop an idea. It was special. I did not think we could do that.
- I enjoyed it. I felt that there was cooperation, and everyone thought about creative ideas.
- I enjoyed it. It was fun to cooperate with children from other schools that I do not meet every day.
Here is a summary presentation of the second Hackathon at the Yad-Mordechai school in Bat-Yam:
The third part of the Hackathon was hosted and organized by the HaShalom school in Mevaseret Zion, led by Principal Zehava Isaschar and her VP, Sigal Bar.
Students met each other at 9 AM at school and already felt acquainted.
The young entrepreneurs received stickers with their name and a colored label, determining which of the four mixed groups they were assigned to.
Everybody gathered in the hall, where folders with the Hackathon schedule and information about the hosting school were waiting for them.
Zehava Isaschar and Sigal Bar spoke with the entrepreneur kids about the process they had gone through thus far and what they could expect during the day to come.
What defines the entrepreneur kids is the ability to dream and the desire to initiate and create new processes.
The kids received their blessing for the fun day to come with plenty of beautiful ideas.
After the opening speeches have concluded, the kids played an acquaintance game.
The kids split into groups according to the colors on their stickers. Every group's task was to stack the cubes, using the ropes they were given, without speaking to each other.
The purpose of this challenge was to encourage cooperation between group members to obtain a mutual goal.
After succeeding, the kids once again gathered in the hall for the next activity.
Every student group was asked to create one business card that defines their members as entrepreneurs, as Hackathon participants, or the initiative that they've developed since Part Two.
At their disposal were construction paper, crayons, glue, and other tools for designing a unique card.
Before the task, a discussion was held about the importance of a business card as a medium for marketing.
The cards made by the entrepreneur students:
After the kids prepared the cards, all the cards and all models for the projects that the students had made at their school were gathered in the exhibition.
All in all, there were ten initiatives displayed. Click the links below to read more about each project:
- Guess what a venture by Alumot school students
- Charity box initiative by Alumot school students
- Tri Bin initiative by Kaplan school students
- Personal Pencil Box invention by Kaplan school students
- I wrote I solved, and I succeeded venture by Kaplan school students
- Galgaldli product by Kaplan school students
- A bottle keeper project of Yad Mordechai school students
- Who am I? A name game for the blind made by Yad Mordechai school students
- Dumishush - In the style of Domino project by HaShalom school students
- Class Organizer invention by HaShalom school students
At the end of the show, group representatives presented their projects:
Hackathon summary by Zehava and Sigal:
"You had three wonderful sessions. Each session was different from its predecessor. During these meetings, you mingled, discussed, thought, planned, and created.
It was a great pleasure to watch you work together, even though you did not know each other beforehand.
We're sure you're walking away with a positive experience.
Your ideas deserve spreading."
Every student got a certificate of participation and five stones. These stones symbolize creativity, flexibility, optimism, communication, and persistence.
A summary presentation of the Hackathon Part Three:
Free Class magazine, who wrote an article on young entrepreneurs at HaShalom school, also wrote about the Hackathon.
Read about more experiences in entrepreneurship education schools.