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Junior Scientist Program – The HETZ [“Arrow”] Project


Physics for Outstanding Junior High School students


Dr. Idit Gruman, Coordinator


The Hebrew word for arrow is HETZ, the acronym for the Junior Scientist program. The “Arrow” Project provides the opportunity for Tel Aviv –Yafo’s outstanding junior high school students to begin their 5-study unit physics track as early as Grade 9.

Among the subjects that provide bonus points, physics is the only subject that opens doors to all university departments. It is extremely important to acquire the practical skills of “doing science’ and the know-how for practical work at this early age and at a high level. This is the way it is commonly done today in developed countries that demonstrate achievements at the forefront of scientific discoveries.


Grade 9 is the optimal time to build the infrastructure of science education for all students, since they are still not overwhelmed with the pressure of the “direct line to matriculation.”


HETZ Project studies focus on the teaching of physics as the foundation of a comprehensive basis of science education. Students accompany the readings with lab demonstrations, student experiments, concentrated all-day physics workshops, lectures and field trips. HEMDA teachers who prepare and teach the HETZ program are top educators with vast pedagogic experience and deep understanding of the subject as well as the students. HEMDA has at its disposal state-of-the-art laboratories, computers and software, teaching aids such as videos, films, audiovisual slide presentations, and online Internet for student use, to locate scientific information and background data. The Internet is also HEMDA’s means of online learning and continuous communication with students outside of classroom hours.


This year, HETZ participants hail from nine schools in the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality.


The Grade 9 curriculum

The HETZ Program is designed to inculcate broad-based physics knowledge and in-depth preparation for the matriculation exams – and beyond.

As part of the track, the Grade 9 program is designed to provide students with knowledge of the basic concepts of physics. When students assimilate these foundation concepts at this relatively young age, they will have better control as they continue their science studies. Furthermore, many Grade 9 physics topics are important, but not part of the regular studies curriculum in their home schools, thus the students are enriched and have a better chance of being integrated into the “elite study units” for outstanding students, such as “MOAH” - The Program for Computational Science. Program elements complement and deepen the regular junior high school curriculum in science and technology.


Physics and sports

  1. Movement (momentary, average and relative speed) in running and swimming
  2. Projectile movement: Shot put, hammer, tennis and basketball, too
  3. What is forcein athletics?
  4. Equilibrium and levers in calisthenics
  5. Center of gravity and complex movement in gymnastics and the javelin throw

Sports and physics activity at Hemda's loby

Physics and household electrical appliances

  1. Basic concepts in electricity - short circuit or electricity out?
  2. Behind household appliances - the meaning of the sticker under your electric kettle
  3. Behind the electric bill - why do we pay for KWH?
  4. Behind the electric cabinet - are our ‘fuses popping’?
  5. What is the source of our electricity? (Hint: Hadera smokestacks…)


Unit III – “Let there be light”

  1. Basic concepts in wave theory (What do mobile phones, microwaves and discotheques have in common?
  2. Seeing waves (On visible light)
  3. “I read you” (On radio waves and invisible light rays)

A jounior student tests her spinning top during the "spinnig top" competition


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