COVID-19 Impact:

Successes and Challenges

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing school closures all over the world, the need for online educational resources has risen at an unprecedented rate over the last few months.

 

Thanks to the William Davidson Foundation’s support of the iScience program during the past three years, the Davidson Institute was well equipped to answer the sudden demand for high quality digital content and has provided vital digital tools and material to keep people in Israel and around the globe connected to the world of science. 

Successes

Stuck at Home

In response to the national lockdown in March 2020, the Davidson Institute launched Stuck at Home—a centralized website for a suite of digital iScience activities, such as trivia games, videos, articles, math puzzles, and science experiments. 

Because it provided relevant and meaningful content that could be conducted at home while COVID-19 restrictions were in place, Stuck at Home immediately attracted thousands of viewers (see charts below). The website is constantly being updated and improved, and has been translated into Hebrew, Arabic, English, and Spanish to accommodate a large world audience.

Stuck at Home
Number of visitors per month
(Israel)

Lockdown in Israel (March-May)

Stuck at Home
(Israel)

COVID-19 Impact:

Successes and Challenges

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing school closures all over the world, the need for online educational resources has risen at an unprecedented rate over the last few months.

 

Thanks to the William Davidson Foundation’s support of the iScience program during the past three years, the Davidson Institute was well equipped to answer the sudden demand for high quality digital content and has provided vital digital tools and material to keep people in Israel and around the globe connected to the world of science. 

Stuck at Home
(Global)
Stuck at Home
Number of visitors per month
(Global)

YouTube channel

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Davidson Institute's YouTube channel has also seen a marked increase in the number of viewers. Since March, the channel has garnered over 1.5 million views. This is more than double the number of viewers that visited in the same time frame last year (<580,000). 

2020
2019
2018

For more information on the YouTube channel, go to Facts and Figures

iScientist

The iScientist program, which was originally designed to take place in physical classrooms, was adjusted this year to accommodate virtual classrooms. In fact, the demand from teachers to introduce scientists into their classrooms has increased, even when schools were not in session. When classes were suspended during the first lockdown (March-May) and during the summer holiday (June-August), the iScientist program still ran sessions for kids that participated in Davidson’s online activities and for teachers that had professional training.
 

iScientist
during lockdown
72
meetings
with more than
1,700
participants
iScientist
during the summer holiday
36
meetings
with approx.
900
participants

For more information on iScientist, go to Facts and Figures

Future Plans

The Davidson Institute wishes to continue expanding its digital content. The staff plans to develop new DIY (Do-It-Yourself) videos and trivia quizzes for the 2020-2021 academic year, and also intends to continue publishing two to three popular science articles a day, as well as new scientific videos every month. 

Additionally, the Davidson Institute is currently in the process of translating their digital material into German. 

The Davidson Institute has invested time, energy and expertise to rapidly reinvent and develop new and creative ways to engage students and teachers with its wide array of course offerings. As the educational landscape continues to change in Israel and around the world, the Davidson staff actively pursue ways in which they can evolve the content and method of distribution while maintaining a high level of excellence in all programs.

Challenges

Though the Davidson Institute boasts an expansive online presence, the changes in the Israeli educational system have still made a substantial impact on the state of many Davidson programs, activities, and courses. 

Classes and visits have had to be cancelled, and even programs which have been moved to an online format require additional funding in order to offer professional and technical support. 

This situation has resulted in a significant loss of revenue, as well as decreased donations for the Davidson Institute. The overall budget for this academic year (2020-2021) has decreased by 11%, which has resulted in a 13% reduction in professional staff.  With such a substantial decrease to the overall staff, the Davidson Institute’s ability to continue providing the highest quality science education is at risk.  

stuck-at-home-en

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