Pupils from the Nitzanim and Har Sckenyah Elementary Schools are developing a Jewish environmental awareness in their relationship with their Pittsburgh counterparts
The program known as 'Eco-Connection' is operated by "Sviva Israel", an environmental education organization and the Karmiel - Misgav - Pittsburgh Partnership of the Jewish Agency.
Eco-Connection educates towards a Jewish environmental awareness and connects between students from the "Nitzanim" Elementary School in Karmiel and students from the "Temple Emanuel" Religious School in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh. Pupils from the Har Sckenyah Elementary School in Misgav have been matched opposite students from Pittsburgh's CDS. Learning is conducted in experiential workshops combining various modern pedagogical tools with the Internet, the Eco-Campus website, and close guidance of the schools' teachers.
The Israeli students studied the global connection and prepared 'friendship bracelets' for their Pittsburgh friends. They developed avatars and posting a joint blog in the virtual school in the program's website. Furthermore, as part of the awareness development concerning save Internet surfing, they were exposed to issues concerning web safety, respect and slander.
Within the project's framework, pupils measured ecological footprints and compared their own with that of their partner school. In fact the Israeli students learned that they were more prudent and less wasteful of resources; therefore, their ecological foot print (natural resources that people consume and their waste) was smaller than their American counterparts by some 35%. Towards the end of the year, the students will participate in a joint videoconference to summarize their year of study.
Furthermore, the Israeli children decided on an annual summation project. At "Nitzanim", the children constructed a community garden. The idea behind the garden is the wise and repeated use of resources such as air-conditioner water for irrigation, transforming organic waste into compost utilizing the school's on-site composter. At "Har Sckenyah" the students are planning to convey what they learned to the entire school through classes they will conduct for the younger students and operate a 'Give & Take' Market.