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The TWIST project - Towards Women in Science and Technology

The TWIST project (Towards Women in Science and Technology) is a three-year initiative of the European Union aimed at encouraging adolescent girls to pursue a career in science and technology.

The Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem is a partner in this important enterprise, together with European science museums and other European organizations. It is the Museum’s policy in recent years to participate in international cooperative projects in general, especially European projects, out of a strong belief in the importance of this issue.

In the course of the project new activities were developed for the general public and for the educational system, and new exhibits were displayed  in the Science Museum. They were all aimed at raising the awareness of young people, their parents,  teachers, and the public at large, about the importance of appropriate representation of women in the fields of science and technology.

Activities developed in connection with this project included:

1.    A collection of short films focusing on role models for women - Each of the participating countries has screened 6 short films (42 in all) about women in industry and academia who are at the forefront of science and technology. The films are made up of brief clips to enable viewers to select the topics that interest them. They are being screened in all participating museums by means of an innovative interface developed in Italy, as well as on the internet sites of these museums. They have been translated into eight languages. The six films about Israeli female scientists have also been translated into Arabic.

The films can be viewed at:2.    Refresher courses for teachers – These aim to raise teachers’ awareness of how important it is to teach about equality in the classroom, and the necessity of urging girls to study and develop a career in science and technology. Watch video

3.    Special activities for girls and women on International Women’s Day, emphasizing the idea of urging women to advance in the fields of science and technology.

4.    TWISTY – A virtual character that interacts with visitors. This unusual exhibit was developed in Italy. Visitors are invited to discuss the topic of women in science and technology. The team of instructors who have been trained to operate TWISTY challenges all comers – adults, teachers, and elementary and high school students, both Jews and Arabs. From observing the interaction between visitors and TWISTY it is evident that the dialogue between them is open, surprising, and thought-provoking.

5.    Hidden associations test – Computer stations at the Museum invite visitors to fill out an interactive questionnaire that reveals their preconceptions about gender and science. The questionnaire can also be dispensed in the form of a card game. Try the test

6.    Satiric performance about gender and science “How many female scientists does it take to make a cup of coffee?” – Developed and presented by the “Parah Schutah” (Slaughtered Cow) ensemble of the Incubator Theater. The show is geared to adults and young people.

7.    Handbooks for teachers and educators – (in English). They contain suggestions for advanced education courses for teachers, and for students in the classroom.

8.    The “gender equality in the classroom” manifesto – suggestions for the teacher. How to encourage boys and girls to take an interest in science and technology – Its purpose is to raise awareness among teachers regarding egalitarian conduct in the classroom (for teachers as well as students). It includes recommendations for teaching in general and teaching science and technology in particular. The manifesto appears in Hebrew, Arabic, and English.

Programs for teachers, students, and the general public included:
  • A symposium of experts in various fields
  • Brief informal encounters with scientists
  • Science and gender-related tours of the Museum
  • Workshops in the footsteps of groundbreaking female scientists throughout history

The project was launched in November 2010. Its results will still be evident in the Museum after it closes in December 2012.
Date Created: 08/11/12
Date Updated: 04/09/16