This page is dedicated to hackathons and entrepreneurship competitions we led in the education system for students, teachers, principals, and educators, both in schools across Israel and internationals. Read more about other hackathons we organized on the Hackathons for organizations page.
The hackathons we organize can be either face-to-face, hybrid, or virtual and we tailor them according to the needs of each school\client.
Contact us by E-mail to plan your own hackathon.
We would also be happy to have an online meeting with you, which can be scheduled via this link.
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.
As a tech and educational entrepreneur, Galit Zamler was the first to lead in 2014 a hackathon for 4th to 6th graders from four different schools across the country. Since then, hackathons have become common events in the education system and schools. They aim to encourage innovation, creative and entrepreneurial thinking, teamwork, and instill other skills in a time-framed event.
The hackathon events were customized to the schools' needs regarding the participants' age, study hours, contents, pace, and various abilities. So, since the first hackathon for students in 2014, which was a big success, we've been leading many hackathons for students, teachers, and principals. Some of them were international hackathons events.
Though the hackathons originate from the high-tech world, as you will understand from reading this page, hackathons have no age limit. Our hackathons in education were attended by children, both boys and girls, teenagers, teachers, principals, and educators from Israel and abroad. Other hackathons, which we led, were also attended by senior citizens :)
We hold the flexibility to lead hackathons in different ways thanks to using a unique system we've developed called Vickathon for leading experiential hackathons to an unlimited number of participants.
Vickathon is part of the 5th cycle of the EdStart program. This is a unique national program of the Ministry of Education. It collaborates with the Ministry of National Digital, Digital Israel, the Taasiyeda Association, and the Israeli Association of Advanced Industries (IATI). It identifies exceptional and groundbreaking educational-technological ventures, empowers them, and helps them grow and create a broad impact on the education system.
At the end of the program, Mr. Eitan Kleinman, the head of the program, wrote: "Dear Galit, it was a pleasure having you taking part in this program. The small waves of change you're creating in the field of educational entrepreneurship in Israel and around the world are reaching new heights that you can't even fathom the magnitude of their impact. This is what the power of education can do. Thank you so much for partnering with EdStart. Wishing you many more successes in the future."
We have summarized the experience of leading virtual for students in ten sections that will help you organize the perfect hackathon:
1) Dividing the event into stages.
2) Harnessing of accompanying teachers and having them actively present throughout the hackathon is vital.
3) Make sure to choose mentors of both genders who will support the students out of goodwill and with lots of good vibes.
4) For the hackathon to be meaningful, pay attention to the process that the students are going through and on empowering them.
5) It's recommended to prearrange the teams in advance.
6) Prepare an idea generator that will help the participants to come up with ideas for projects regarding the hackathon theme.
7) Ensure real-time dynamism, availability, and responses to the students even beyond the hours on which the hackathon is taking place.
8) Use gamification all throughout the hackathon and create an anticipation for the next steps.
9) Prepare and arrange the hackathon from the very starting stage to the end. As always, the success of an event depends on the planning to the small details.
10) And last but not least, all involved, without exceptions, should want the hackathon to succeed.
EFK Vietnam, the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program representatives in Vietnam, has purchased the format for leading virtual hackathons developed by Galit Zamler. Their team organized the first virtual hackathon for students in their country, and it was hailed as a great success.
Samples of Our Hackathon Events and Entrepreneurship Competitions
The Yohanani School in Herzliya hosted a hackathon of two intensive days for approximately 200 fifth and sixth graders to find accessible solutions for people with disabilities.
Principal Einat Ben Naim accepted the initiative of the parents' committee chairman, Yossi Zoaretz, to host the event, which is all about entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, and many other essential life skills that the children had to demonstrate during the hackathon.
On the first day, we met at The Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at Reichman University (IDC Herzliya), where Prof. Dafna Kariv welcomed us with great energy.
The students then worked in 31 teams accompanied by mentors. Most of them were students' parents. In a tight schedule, the students developed ideas for projects to benefit people with disabilities, screened the ideas, chose the best one that met the criteria we set for them, and then developed it on Vickathon.
At the end of the first day, Rachely Ben Amram gave a lecture on making a winning pitch and a presentation.
The children worked on their presentations during the second day and created models to illustrate the ideas. They also practiced a 2.5-minute pitch.
All students presented their ideas to distinguished judges who heard their pitches and scored the ventures. Mayor Mr. Moshe Fadlon also honored us with his presence and was impressed by the children's creativity and products in such a short time.
We finally enjoyed eating pizzas as in a real hackathon.
Selected Comments on the Hackathon:
School principal Ms. Einat Ben Naim: "Dear Galit, I am still in high spirits. Thank you for an engaging, teaching, encouraging, and innovative day."
Chairman of the Parents' Committee, Yossi Zoaretz: "The main feedback I got after these two days were a gift for life for the children. Thank you for helping me give them such a valuable and essential present."
Judge at the Hackathon, mother of a special child, Liat Keren: "What a brilliant idea!!!! Understanding the difficulties associated with those with special needs, entrepreneurship, and seeing the other. It is not a slogan, but real! Absolutely practical experience. It's ingenious!
It took me two hours to tour the teams of fifth- and sixth-graders, who have worked hard to develop innovative products that benefit people with disabilities.
It was a pleasure to hear them and learn about their ideas. I wish more schools would adopt this event concept. And thanks to Yossi Zoaretz for conceiving it !!!"
The Ministry of Education in the Tel Aviv District wrote about the event on its Facebook page:
We held an international hackathon for students of the AMT program from Alumim Middle School and Rotberg High School in Ramat Hasharon with students from China.
Ten teams came up with creative ideas to improve the quality of life of the elderly.
This is a particularly painful problem in China due to the one-child policy and the transition of young people from villages to cities.
Students communicated with each other on the Wechat app, developed their ideas on Vickathon, and worked in rooms at Zoom accompanied by great mentors.
The students demonstrated the ability to work in teams alongside creativity, communication in English, openness to a foreign culture, work under pressure, search and process information, stand in front of an audience, etc. All these in one event that was spread over five days.
Eight judges listened to the teams presenting their ideas and scored them according to defined criteria. In the end, we had four winning teams.
In the third place we had two teams:
Team 9 - P.R.B. Project - A button attached to clothes with a headset that reminds seniors when to take their medication.
Team 5 - Medician Project - a wristband that serves as a virtual assistant that helps the elderly contact doctors, order medications online, make appointments on medical issues, and allow the family to be involved.
Second place won
Team 4 - A school for the elderly with a wide range of courses, which connects them with the community and helps them dispel loneliness.
In the first place
Team 1 - a tablet with a simple, understandable, and easy-to-operate design that allows seniors easy and available access to entertainment activities and company to dispel boredom using a touch screen and only three buttons.
Here is a selection of feedback on the hackathon:
Gil Marom, speaker and judge: "I was amazed by their creative ideas. They showed really good market research and pointed to real-life challenges in the aging population. Wonder what the future will look like for those kids."
Vered Adar, mentor: "Thank you, Galit Zamler, for the opportunity and the challenge of mentoring groups from Israel and China, working together to create a better life for the elderly population. It was interesting, enriching, and most promising. It is one world we live in, and as long as we do our best to collaborate, the better life we will all have here on our planet."
Livia Liu, Chinese student: " This is my second time participating in the Hackathon, and I can say this activity changed my life... This year I am much stronger, able to communicate with everyone confidently and fluently, and also able to provide good ideas for my group.
I hope everyone can get good memories from this experience and get some inspiration for self-expression, teamwork, and innovation, which is very precious."
Flower Fu, Chinese student: "This is my first time participating in the Hackathon, and it let me learn a lot of knowledge. My fear was that I would say the wrong words, and they would not be able to understand me. But after a few days of discussions, I found that Israeli children are very friendly, and they help with many things in our group. Their minds are very lively always have different ideas. Also, they're very good at making beautiful presentations. We are working very well together.
This activity improved my spoken English and developed my overall thinking ability. I learned very important things from them, like meeting deadlines. Thanks for organizing such a good activity, we are all winners!!! Great job for all of us! But still, Group 2 is the best =)"
Yuval Nakash, Israeli student from Alumim Middle School: "Even though it was my first time participating in a hackathon, I'm glad to say it'll take me some time to forget this one...My group members were super nice, and we really had a great chemistry!
Generally, I could tell only by a glimpse of an eye that each person who participated put 100% effort and creativity, to create the most innovative idea that would've helped the elders a lot!
I also learned about the Chinese culture, and how special and diverse is it- full of surprises.
Thank you for this experience."
Orly Gutstadt, Israeli student from Rotberg High School: "This is my first time participating in a vickathon.
I want to start by saying that It was a great experience, and I enjoyed working with my team and learning new things. I learned how to work better in a team and communicate and listen to each other's ideas. I learned a lot about the elderly, and I???m glad we found an idea for a solution to help improve their quality of life. Being part of a team made me feel more confident to share my ideas.
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to participate in this event. I want to thank the Chinese and Israeli teachers and my teammates."
For celebrating Tu Bishvat, the JNF Canada organization hosted a virtual hackathon for Jewish schools in Canada and students from Israel.
The hackathon's challenge was "How to Slow Climate Change by Innovative Ideas?"
About 130 students from different schools attended the hackathon and were accompanied by mentors from Israel to foster a connection between students in Canada and the State of Israel.
After teams presented their venture ideas for solving the challenge, a panel of judges scored the ideas, and four winning teams were announced.
The JNF Canada intends to continue developing the ventures of the hackathon-winning teams, thus creating a significant impact.
Summarizing the event:
Hannah Makmel, director of Jewish studies in Robin's Hebrew Academy, Canada:
"I knew this is exactly the opportunity our school was looking for. As we are encouraging and inspiring our students to become global citizens we're also looking to develop and implement action plans to tackle real-world issues that we're facing today.
This hackathon embedded those two important goals and has holistically integrated them with a holiday of Tu Bishvat and the very real issue of climate change.
Throughout this process I watched our students working cooperatively to identify a goal that is close to their heart.
I watched them put together an action plan, revisit their ideas to change and adapt, plan Zoom meetings, overcome the challenges of Zoom. But above all persevere and finally present.
And yesterday was a showcase of hope and a future I'm looking forward to.
I found myself frantically trying to keep up with tall the inspiring presentations. I took note of every idea and original thought.
I want to thank all of the students for your hard work. Thank you to JNF Canada and the organizing committee for your dedication and your vision.
See you next year."
Galit Moyal, the Associate Hebrew School, Canada:
"I was just blown away. Everybody's presentations were amazing.
Climate change is an important issue, and we were fascinated to see that the students came up with real solutions to real-world problems.
We talk a lot about 21st-century learning and making sure that the students are able to learn for the future, and that's exactly what we saw here; Students had to meet deadlines, collaborate and work together, come up with innovative and creative ideas to solve real-world problems, and we saw that throughout.
I think our students really persevered. They were amazing. It was a combination of excitement, teamwork, innovation, and creativity. It was just a great real-world experience.
Thank you all."
Lance Davis, CEO JNF Canada:
"We are so proud of all participants for your hard work and your dedication.
I'm really blown away by each and every one of you and what you bring to the table.
I want to thank the teachers and the schools and the mentors and the judges.
Everybody put so much work into making sure this went smoothly.
A special thank you to Yifat, Silvia, and Galit for your really hard work and dedication and for going above and beyond.
This hackathon exceeded all our expectations."
The second year in a row, Ramat-Gan Municipality hosted the hackathon "Stock Market of Innovation" for all schools in the city, accompanied by the Vickathon team.
The hackathon is a project of Sarri Hezi and Liza Melnik from the education department of the municipality.
The hackathon is named after the student Barak Hurri, who participated last year and was run over on Yom Kippur.
Students and teachers from 31 schools participated in mixed teams. Additionally, the city pooled resources. Each team was joined by a soldier from the IDF School of Computer Science as well as students from the Department of Engineering and Software at Shenkar College in Ramat Gan.
In spite of the challenges of the Covid, we held the hackathon in a hybrid format with experienced mentors.
Eighteen judges conducted online judging.
The hackathon was held to celebrate Ramat Gan's 100th anniversary. The participants were asked to illustrate the city's story from different angles using digital illustrations.
As their final project in Shenkar, the students will implement the projects of the three winning teams in exchange for a scholarship that the municipality awarded in support of the hackathon and their projects.
The hackathon "Stock Market of Innovation" was an empowering, experiential, and meaningful event.
The following are some quotes about the hackathon:
"This event made children feel empowered, made them believe in themselves, and most importantly, taught them to dream together as a team and to fulfill their dreams. It was an amazing event, exemplary in its organization."
Mariana Ben Yosef:
"It is the second year the city students have been inspired and empowered. It is wonderful to see the sparkle in their eyes, their pride, and the joy of meeting their idea in reality. This event filled our batteries!!!"
"As a judge, I really enjoyed the Hackathon. It was well organized. The projects presented were fascinating and engaging. Children were given considerable scope for action and accompaniment. Even on Zoom, the passion, excitement, and desire to improve life around us were evident, and the energies were at their highest."
"There is nothing like watching teenagers talk passionately about real problems that bother them, and their ability to influence solutions to those problems. I hope there will be more of these events."
"The students enjoyed the process and learned from working with other students. They will remember this day for many years to come. Our thanks go out to the judging panel for believing in our idea and awarding us first prize. Our students are looking forward to the next hackathon!"
"The children experienced an extraordinary event that challenged them and motivated them to be innovative and entrepreneurial. The idea of uniting elementary and high schools, teachers, and college mentors is ingenious, and I hope it will continue with further initiatives."
"Thanks for a meaningful day for the children and staff. Having children smile with energy in the sky after a learning day of about 10 hours is an indicator that learning is a result of motivation and enjoyment. I am proud to be a part of Ramat Gan's educational system."
Galit Zamler hosted a hackathon with youth from all over Israel, representing all religions and sectors, to come up with ideas to reduce the gaps in Israeli society, increase tolerance, and strengthen the connections between its various parts.
Bina and Ortov organized the hackathon, and the best of Israel's youth from leadership classes from ORT Schools attended.
Three winning teams that implement the ideas will receive cash prizes.
All teams wrote their ideas in Vickathon, and they can continue working on their ventures until the successful realization.
During Global Entrepreneurship Week, Teddy Kollek High School in Pisgat Ze'ev, headed by Ms. Sonia Refaeli and led by Ms. Merav Maman, held hackathons for its students of various grades.
The Hackathon Summit event led by the Vickathon team was attended by every hackathon winner that week. 16 teams and over 100 students attended this event. This event lasted all day and was held in a collaborative, proactive, creative, innovative, and teamwork environment.
Hackathon participants were challenged to find solutions to improve the leisure time for youth in the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood.
At the end of the day, the students presented their ideas with great presentations to an audience and judges. Then we announced the winners and crowd favorites.
Participants who participated throughout the week and summit day had a lot to gain from the experience.
Sonia Refaeli wrote:
"Dear Galit, thank you for such a professional, experiential and exciting event.
We look forward to working with you in the future."
Merav Maman summarized the event as follows:
"It was an amazing collaboration.
Dear Galit, It was an impressive event that was the highlight of the school entrepreneurship week.
It was absolutely a success, and it was just the beginning of doing something so important."
This is how the school described the experience on Facebook:
"Teddy Kollek High School had a record day during Entrepreneurship Week!
There is so much excitement and joy in doing.
Sixteen projects from the 8th, 9th, and 11th grades made the finals.
The winners of the hackathon are:
Third place - 'Cruiser with a smile' - This project aims to cheer up the residents of Pisgat Ze'ev - 10th graders.
2nd place - Give a Hand to Pisga - A learning center in which high school students teach elementary school students at reasonable prices - 10th graders.
The first place - * Photo Time * - Establishment of a collaborative photography studio where teenagers from different places can work together - 8th graders.
The judges of the competition were -
Batsheva Yehoshua from Manchi
Hadar Zatlawi - Municipal Youth Unit Director
Rivka, Eyal and Arik from Ipcha.
We ended the week with excitement, great experience, inspiration, and a great sense of pride in the children.
Thanks to everyone who took part!
This is how education should be done!"
The Gymnasia HaRealit High School in Rishon Lezion, under the leadership of Ms. Iris Ron and Ms. Michal Keren organized for the second time an international hackathon under the direction of Ms. Galit Zamler.
Five countries participated this time: Israel, the Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam, and India.
The hackathon involved 150 students divided into 22 mixed teams. Each team was composed of students from the Gymnasia HaRealit and students from another country. The entire hackathon was held in English.
The hackathon topic was 'How to Cultivate Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in Students?'
Students attended short enrichment lectures, took part in a workshop to develop entrepreneurial skills, and worked in teams to develop ideas according to a Vickathon system outline.
As part of the hackathon, we held four frontal sessions during Global Entrepreneurship Week, and students worked independently between sessions to advance their projects.
The teams presented their ideas to all mentors and participants and received proactive feedback.
The hackathon ended with the selection of three winning teams based on the judges' scores and crowd favorites selected through online voting.
Some representatives summarized the hackathon as follows:
Michal Keren, Deputy Principal:
"I would like to express my deepest appreciation for successfully completing 2021 the Gymnasia Harealit hackathon.
Dear students, you have definitely exceeded our expectations. Your professionalism is truly commendable. Your work has resulted in tangible beneficial results to both the community and schools. You put your hurts and souls into SEL. You have created adorable projects, one of which has been building communication and speaking the same language for the good of men kind. Wishing you all the best and luck in applying all those wonderful ideas."
Andrew, Team Representative from South Africa:
"Thank you, Galit, for running this hackathon. In South Africa, it's our first experience with a hackathon. It is amazing to see how these kids have so many ideas, and the universe's future lies in these kids. A change in the world will start with you guys.
Moran Talmor, co-lead of the hackathon and chief mentor, wrote on her Facebook page:
"This week was a huge privilege for me.
Participate as a mentor in the four-day hackathon.
On the subject of SEL (social-emotional learning).
Among other things, Galit Zamler, the person behind this wonderful project, promotes entrepreneurship and innovation in schools around the world.
It was a pleasure to see teenagers from India, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Africa, and Israel work together to find ways to make the world a better place."
Kfir, a student at the Gymnasia HaRealit:
"This was a very good experience. I really enjoyed speaking to other people from other countries and working on my English was a lot of fun.
Zoe, a student at the Academic Link School in the Philippines:
"When I first read about the hackathon, I had no idea what it was. But I'll truly remember the experience of working with different students and mentors.
Angelica, a student at the Montessori School in South Africa:
"We are all thankful for taking part in the hackathon experience. I think we all learned a lot from this. We are very grateful for this opportunity you gave us.
Eliana, a student from Vietnam:
"Thank you for introducing me to this competition. I have a lot of experience with new friends from around the world. For me, it was amazing.
A joint international virtual hackathon for students from the Nachshon's class at "Gvanim" Junior High School in Kadima-Tzoran, students from Excel Public School in India, and students from Aurora Boya Academy of Beijing in China.
The challenge presented in this hackathon was to find technological solutions that will help reduce the sense of loneliness and strengthen social connections.
This is the place to thank our guest lecturer, Anat Sever, for sharing her experience of feeling lonely as a child due to constant relocations her family had to make and how she managed to overcome it. Her story presents one perspective of the challenge the pupils dealt with in this hackathon.
This is the Welcome clip the students of all three countries made.
Summary of the hackathon from the participants' representatives:
Student Divijaa Arjun:
"It was truly a great experience and learning. Working with students across the globe, overcoming challenges, understanding each other's differences and developing a venture was indeed very exciting. A great platform to build connections. It was a euphoric experience. Sincere thanks to our mentors Srinath Birur, Lekha Nair and Jyoti Joseph and to the organizers of this Hackathon for making this possible."
Six-graders from the Tchernikhovski primary school in Haifa, headed by principal Doron Wienberg took part in an international entrepreneurship competition where they competed against students from China.
The students brainstormed ideas for projects in several fields that were presented to them. They've developed those ideas on the Vickathon- an internet platform used for entrepreneurship competitions.
All the competitors prepared a business plan and in the end, presented their ideas in front of a panel of entrepreneurs from Israel and China.
Beyond the competitive challenge, all those who participated dealt with the requirement to present in English, which was not their native language, in a remarkable way.
Ramat Gan's Department of Education, led by Sarri Hezi and Liza Melnik, planned a hybrid hackathon for the city's schoolchildren.
The hackathon's theme: promoting innovation in education
A mix of ten teams made of students and teachers from different schools across the city met, together with officers from Mamram in two different locations in the city. They developed their ideas of projects so they will be able to demo them. The entire hackathon lasted from morning till evening.
Throughout the day, the teams also took part in lectures and online workshops and enjoyed the atmosphere of good and healthy competition.
At the end of the day, the teams presented online their ideas for projects to a committee of honorable members who chose three winning teams.
The winning teams were handed some significant awards, which the city hall funded to realize the projects.
This is the first hybrid hackathon that Galit Zamler led together with Inbar Berger, and the combination of face-to-face interaction, the virtual arena, and the work of the teams on the Vickathon system, created an effect of excitement and interaction between the professional mentors who accompanied the teams and also between the groups themselves.
A selection of comments from all those who were involved with the hackathon:
Sarri Hezi, the hackathon planner on behalf of Ramat Gan's city hall- "I want to thank all the participants. This event wouldn't have been a success without your strong motivation. I know that you were left wanting more, and I'm happy about that. I promise that this is what motivates me to plan more events like these in Ramat Gan.
Once a year, we'll create such an event at the Education Week regularly and will make sure to create smaller events during the rest of the year. Huge thanks to Liza, who was a partner on this journey. Thanks to Galit and Inbar, who accepted me with all my craziness with such understanding and containment in order for this event to succeed. I was Sarri, and I came to make a positive change in Ramat Gan's education system. This was the first milestone. Have a lovely weekend!"
Racheli Nir, Yahalom School- "Thanks so much for this experiential, fascinating, different, fun, enriching, and educating day."
Shulamit Sol, Avigur School- "The children had a great time and came back filled with great enthusiasm!"
Einat Zevulun, Michalal School - "Thanks for a perfect day filled with lots of experiences, the children had a great time, and so did we, the educators."
Moti, Teleprocessing Coordinator at Ramat Gan's Makif High School- "Our students experienced a formative experience; Learning about the product development process as a team, experimenting with innovation, building a presentation for their pitch. It was worth it, and it left us wanting more."
Vered Ben-Dor Atid School - "It was a meaningful, experiential and inspiring day, combined with joined-up thinking and team work between the different schools. Children who began as strangers came out of this day as best friends and are already looking forward to the next joined meeting. Thanks for the opportunity of being part of joined-up thinking for promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. It was an amazing event!"
Yehudit Liron, mentor - "This hackathon was amazingly organized! The teams created amazing things!!! I'm glad I was given the opportunity to accompany my team."
Orly Gerry, mentor - "I join the compliments. It was exemplarily organized. The support which each team received was relevant and accurate. Hats off to Sarri, Liza, and Galit and an enormous appreciation for the teachers that accompanied the students throughout the entire process and the entire day. I'm glad I was given the opportunity to witness such a deserved and wonderfully organized project. Thank you!"
Iris Weintraub, mentor - "I had the privilege of participating as a mentor at the hybrid hackathon for promoting innovation in the city of Ramat Gan. I had a fascinating day, and as a bonus, my team won second place!!!! Well done to Sarri for your initiative and to you, Galit, for the exemplary organization."
The Gush Etzion Council and its Department of Education through the Youth Department have decided to hear the youth of Gush Etzion and get ideas from them to strengthen the social resilience of the teenagers. This resilience was cracked during the Covid-19 pandemic, and now it's time to rehabilitate it again.
Ten teams of youth from the Gush Etzion gathered virtually. Come up with ideas that met the challenge presented to them. Members of the council, the Department of Education, and the Youth Department emphasized their own responsibility to promote and assist as much as they can in realizing the teenagers' ideas.
For most participants, it was the first time they had participated in such a competition. Professional mentors accompanied the teams with lots of patience. They helped the teens move ahead and guided them in formulating ideas for ventures and initiatives.
Those who took part in the event summed up their experience as follows:
Shlomo Ne'eman, Gush Etzion Council head:
"We are pleased and proud of our youth. Your participation, caring, and creativity are impressive. We are truly proud and foresee the future. Our main goal is to grow from this place. We've made this move to get true growth. Many many thanks to Galit and the mentors for the work you've put into this with dedication and creativity".
Samuel (Muli) Yeselzon, Department of Education, Gush Etzion council:
"Thanks a lot to Galit for organizing this entire event. I think that the idea and the implementation and that the teenagers can see themselves as influencing through the hackathon are wonderful. You've had the privilege to be guided by very talented mentors who helped you. I really hope that we would be able to take these wonderful ideas and make them happen. It's our duty to see how we can implement the ideas you have come up with. We didn't do this only for drawing ideas but also to take upon ourselves the commitment to see how we can turn the things you've dreamed of into a reality".
Hana Navon, Gush Etzion community center:
"We weren't surprised at all by our youth. We are aware that our youth is of high standard level, who throughout the Coronavirus pandemic have volunteered and helped the community's resilience. But we were very much impressed with your work, ideas, and initiatives. Now, our goal is to bring those ideas into life. We are proud of you".
Inbar Israel, mentor, CEO of ShalavHava- Entrepreneurship and business development:
"Those teenagers are truly wonderful. I will talk about the team I was mentoring, which I got to know in-depth. Those girls are so bright and very goal-committed. They worked together so well.
I felt I was around grown-ups. They are so intelligent and did everything so well as if they were mature entrepreneurs. I'm proud of you for the way you've presented your idea. You're simply fantastic. I wish you lots of success. I hope your experience was good and that you learned from this and will take with you all that you've learned here. You won anyway. I had a great time with you".
Amitai Isboutsky, one of the teenagers who participated in the hackathon:
"We had a great time, and we hope to participate in a hackathon again next year".
Rivka Palmor, one of the teenagers who participated in the hackathon:
"It was a meaningful experience. It's my first time participating in a hackathon. I thought it would be boring, but I had so much fun, both with my teammates and our mentor. Thank you all for making this event fun".
Ra'aya Yeselzon, one of the teenagers who participated in the hackathon:
"Thanks to all those who organized and worked on this event. It was enjoyable and enriching".
Virtual hackathon for mixed teams of students from Israel, China, India, and Hong Kong.
This hackathon was conducted in English and was participated by 181 students in total.
This hackathon was promoted by the head principal of Gymnasia HaRealit High School, Iris Ron, and her vice-principal, Michal Keren, who were accompanied by a leading team of teachers. The event from beginning to end demonstrated what learning should look like these days.
At the end of the hackathon, the head principal, leading team, mentors, and students summed up the event:
Israeli students wrote:
"We reached this international hackathon a bit scared of the unknown of meeting peers from a foreign country but also with excitement because this is not something we take part in on a daily basis. Our fears and doubts had quickly disappeared when we learned that we were teamed with four other nice and smart students from China, and together we came up with this idea and built it. We collaborated great, and little by little, we got to know each other better and had a great time working together. Aside from creating an excellent idea, we came out of this hackathon with new friends and improved our English".
"Our experience in this hackathon was amazing. We got to work together with three terrific students from China, and through our conversations with them, we learned a lot about their school, the teaching methods in China, and overall about their country. We had so much fun during the entire work process, and we also improved our English".
Students from China wrote:
"The first time I heard this topic, like a newborn baby, I was puzzled and curious.
Until the first day of the activity, I learned that "Hackathon" means "hack and marathon," which means persist in innovation. Besides, it also took me five days to find out that "Hackathon" is an experience. It means precious friendship and lots of great benefits."
"Wealth is not a permanent friend, but a friend is a permanent wealth." In my opinion, an activity that can make good friends is the most worthwhile. During the five days of the Hackathon in team 21, I got to know many students from Israel, and we set up the WeChat group as well. As Israel is such an innovative country, there must be something that we can learn from them, for instance, Maya's leadership, Ron's activeness, Natanel's calm but skillful, and Ido's potential. In such a creative atmosphere, I believe that I'll certainly gain something useful.
In addition, what I've learned so far is confidence, interaction, and critical thinking. Many Chinese children are not outgoing at all, we are not good at expressing feelings either, but most Israelis are just the opposite. This may have a lot to do with the way education is conducted. Therefore, in order to make good the defect, I came to Hackathon and learn how to express myself confidently."
"I think this virtual Hackathon is very meaningful and I can learn a lot. I feel very honored to exchange and discuss with my Israeli classmates. I get along very well with them. Thank the teachers in Israel and China for giving me this opportunity to participate in this activity. This activity has trained my language expression ability and my innovation ability and gained a lot.
At the same time, I also thank the students in Israel for accepting my views. Understand that we sometimes dare not speak and take the lead. Take the initiative to make presentations and speeches. We feel very warm."
Students from India summed up the event in video-clips:
The A.D Gordon's school staff in Kfar Saba, managed by Gila Ben Yosef, led a whole day of a virtual school hackathon.
The preparation was done in advance; the school staff was briefed by Galit Zamler on how to plan a virtual event that is cognitive, cooperative, and innovative.
There was a lot of excitement surrounding the day, both among teachers and students.
During the day, the students learned the meaning of mutual responsibility, came up with ideas for projects and initiatives, and split into teams. Each team developed their idea over Vickathon, with the teachers as mentors.
The hackathon ended with the students' pitches, in which they professionally presented their ideas, for the purpose of recruiting everyone to execute as many ideas as possible.
In Rehovot, the De-Shalit Junior-High School decided to run an online hackathon for the students learning the Youth Entrepreneurship Program.
Yosefa Salomon and Michal Ben-Hemo decided on the hackathon's theme: Coping With Loneliness and Social Distancing.
The selection of the theme was made out of the understanding that it's a sensitive topic that concerns the students and their peers, whether it's a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which was forced upon us, and whether it's because of social boycott.
An eight-grader class led by homeroom teacher Shuli Darmon from the High School Nearby the University in Jerusalem joined the hackathon.
We run the hackathon over four days during one week. During its course, the students went through a process of brainstorming to raise ideas for projects, choosing a leading topic, and developing it at the Vickathon system accompanied by professional mentors.
The week ended with hearing out the ideas, receiving feedback, and announcing the winners.
Listed below is a selection of quotes from the participants of the hackathon:
Michal Ben-Hemo, entrepreneurship coordinator at the De-Shalit Junior High School in Rehovot: "It was quite an experience. The hackathon was a fascinating and interesting process that I also went through and took a lot from. The students worked in teams, put their heads together, and tried to solve problems in very creative ways. Our great achievement at the hackathon being part of this process. We've seen here some amazing projects which can be further developed. A huge thanks to Galit for the collaboration in the hackathon and the teachers, mentors, and students. It was simply a pleasure walking into the Zoom rooms and witness you working and thinking vigorously."
Shuli Darmon, the eighth-grade teacher in the High School Nearby the University in Jerusalem: "We also went through an amazing process. Our students were thrown in at the deep end, and they did an amazing job. The students' presentations and pitches were fascinating. The ideas were creative...well done to everyone for going through the entire process. It was fun doing the hackathon with another school. It was a wonderful and unique experience."
Ruth Moka-Omer, seventh-grade homeroom teacher: "It was an amazing week in which the students have done so much work. Working in groups was respectable and was held with a pleasant conversation. I had a great time. Thanks for the privilege of being part of this."
Ariel Avraham, a pupil at the De-Shalit Junior High School: "Taking part in the competition was really fun for me. I even learned new things about my friends as we were working. We laughed, had a great time. It was enjoyable. And we also created a wonderful project that we're proud of."
Mika Niron, De-Shalit Junior High School: "We got along really great in our group. We made all the decisions together, with each one contributing their part. We had so much fun."
Here are some of the mentors' experiences who accompanied the hackathon with outstanding professionalism and sensitivity:
Dana Goldring, artist and social entrepreneur, founder of Boser- professional community for artists who are getting started: "It was amazing, a wonderful group of gifted and caring kids - they are simply an inspiration. I would love to work with such a team!:) Galit Zamler, thanks a lot for the invitation and also for acquainted me with more talented entrepreneurs, I enjoyed listening to the feedback from all the colleagues and seeing all the great projects that were created under your guidance- you are all champions."
Ronit Meiri, consultant, personal and business trainer, using the holistic method, speaker, groups-facilitator, and owner of the business - Yes You Can: "The hackathon was interesting, innovative, highly constructed and conducted. I thought to myself - if this is what they're producing now, what will they come up with in the years to come. Galit, you're doing a significant job that can change many people's lives in Israel and all across the world for the better. I enjoyed listening and learning from the opinion given by the team that provided the feedback."
Maya Keleti, a graphic designer, specializes in designing and communicative language for children: "It was enchanting and fascinating to listen to the kids' ideas today."
Vered Adar, head of UI/UX, design thinking workshop facilitator: "Galit, you delivered the event fascinatingly and excellently. And the mentors who delivered their feedback did a great job with lots of affection and pumped the students with motivation. You've managed to transmit the feeling that implementing all of this is really within reach. You've also managed to convey messages of criticism positively and constructively. Well done to you."
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."
This is an interview with Yael Chen-Tov, who won first place with the "Shmaryahu" project:
The Issues on Which the Ventures Were Defined
- Solutions in the health sector for dealing with the virus
- Solutions for the spare time that was created due to the government's instructions
- Solutions for dealing with loneliness
- Solutions for enriching knowledge and solutions for studying
- Solutions for quarantined people's needs
- Solutions for financial difficulties created by the situation
How is the Virtual Hackathon Conducted?
- The hackathon was tailored for kids and their teachers in terms of visual design, sections to fill out, and videos.
- Students worked through a structured, joint internet file to develop a project in their homes at any time that was comfortable for them, from any device, and without physically meeting each other.
- As part of the hackathon, the students watched short tutorial clips that helped them develop the venture idea.
- Each group received professional feedback via the online file relevant to their idea and suited to the young entrepreneurs' ages.
- Each group made up to a two-minute video to present the project or just wrote down the pitch.
- Each venture was reviewed and scored by three judges.
Forty teams of students from six different schools enrolled in the hackathon. Twenty-five of them developed ideas for ventures, and twenty teams reached the final competition and submitted their pitches.
Via an exciting online meeting with all participants, Galit announced the three winners.
The Ideas Were Judged According to the Following Criteria:
- Identifying a problem/need and coming up with a solution that has the potential for a broad impact.
- Original, creative, and doable ideas.
- Writing a detailed file for developing the idea.
- Pitching the idea.
The Prize for the Winners:
- Professional consultation to develop the project.
- Exposure to decision-makers.
- Advertising and exposure on social networks and on the EFK program websites in Hebrew and English.
The Winners of the Vickathon "Dealing with the Coronavirus"
Matan Lion Melech produced the final video that featured the winning teams' pitches.
First place: Yael Chen-Tov, a sixth-grader from Katznelson School in Kfar Sirkin. Yael's venture is called "Shmaryahu" (Keeper) - a bracelet that reminds us to wash hands and keep away from others, thus protecting us from Corona.
Second place: A team of young entrepreneurs - fifth-graders David, Nikol, Tahel and sixth-graders Orin, Shaked, and Nadav from the A.D Gordon School in Holon. Their venture is called "Activation" - a site with various fun and interesting activities to spend time at home during the Corona pandemic.
Third place: The venture of Ella and Ziv, third-graders from the "Sadot" School in Pardes Hanna-Karkur. Their venture is a "Corona Kit" - a kit with hygiene products and fun games that will help us be safe and also have fun.
Our Partners in the Hackathon Success:
The online event was done with the cooperation of professionals who contribute from their expertise; entrepreneurs from various fields who help students promote their ideas and serve as expert mentors.
Rivka Alkobi - Educational Entrepreneur and Founder of B-Friend, Researcher in Special Education, Psychotherapist, and an Educational Advisor. Rivka develops digital therapies and products designed to help parents, teachers, and educators communicate safely. Her last startup, named B-Friend, helps teach children social skills. The Ministry of Education has approved this venture.
Attorney Gad Benett from Ben-Ami & Associates, patent attorneys, has prepared a short and relevant explanatory clip in a language that is understandable to students, answering the question "should I disclose or not disclose my idea?"
Tal Berman - Specialist in early stages ventures, taught this as part of his role at the College of Management. A serial entrepreneur, owner of a company that creates international opportunities for entrepreneurs with representative offices in Spain and Germany, and also leads the Startup Grind community in Rishon Lezion.
Dedi Cohen - Designer and educator. Live the world of Hackathons, founder of the Damm Good Slides studio for accessing tools and practices in presentations, creative thinking, design, and product concept. Designer in the state service, product manager at the karaoke-talkie venture, lecturer, and mentor in the Israeli youth entrepreneurship community.
Matan Lion Melech - A film producer and filmmaker. Matan made a video about the importance of defining and characterizing the target audience.
Or Manor - The founder of the Social Innovation Club, Director of Strategic partnerships, Informatics. She helped to prepare a presentation on how to pitch your project in an interesting way.
Tami Kleiman-Bar - Educational entrepreneur, computing, and linguistic coordinator at the six-year high school Carmel Zevulun in Kibbutz Yagur. A graduate student in computational learning and a group manager of the "Middle School and High School Teacher Circle" and "Other Language" Facebook groups.
Dov Rochman - Has managed business activities in various high technology fields, startups, and retail. This includes setting up a startup company in the energy domain, management, and establishment of a wide retail activity (IKEA Israel) and management of an Israeli corporation (Koor Industries) in the US. These days, he is a member of the technological innovation group in the Ministry of Education, mentor, and high school math teacher.
Ronni Shtekler - An educator, a teacher and English coordinator in junior high school, entrepreneur, developed a remedial teaching kit in English, "Learn English and Remember."
How Was The Hackathon?
The Hackathon turned out to be a success, even before it was launched. Here are some comments from teachers, mentors, parents, and students:
"Thank you for the initiative and the opportunity to participate. Both teams enjoyed the process very much."
"The Vickathon you developed is lovely and clear. How did you do it?"
"Thank you for leading this meaningful activity during this unusual time. As someone that accompanied projects from the other side, I must say that it had an added value in a time like ours, where kids are out of a routine.
This activity brought them liveliness, a routing of achievement, and a social connection, that are, in my opinion, just as meaningful. They organized it like a project in all senses with daily meetings through Zoom with all the group members, that they couldn't miss or be late to. And of course, after these activities, they had a lot of personal assignments that each of them received.
Thank you so much for promoting this activity. I wish there would be more like this in the future that will get some real content into our children's life."
Children that took part in the Hackathon wrote:
"We really enjoyed the work. Thank you."
"We really enjoyed drawing and inventing ideas to deal with the boredom."
The mentors and judges wrote:
"It was fun, the kids were lovely, and so were their ideas, and the execution was wonderful. a great pleasure."
The director of the Sadot School, which participated in the Hackathon said:
"I'm delighted at the decision to run this Hackathon. That's how learning should look like nowadays. It's a pleasure to hear from all the young entrepreneurs."
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.