A new syllabus for the unified subject Science and Technology in Junior-High School has been developed, and the Group is part of a national effort to implement this syllabus. The curriculum attempts to cultivate scientific and technological literacy for all citizens and to prepare the necessary background for further studies. To achieve these goals, the curriculum focuses on a thorough understanding of basic concepts and emphasizes the development of independent learning skills in the context of subject matter. The curriculum integrates knowledge among the sciences and between science and technology. Social aspects and relevance to individual students are central considerations in the choice of activities.
The Group runs a National Teacher Center (together with Tel-Aviv University) responsible for coordinating the professional development of junior high school teachers throughout Israel. The Center is involved in intensive activities with teachers throughout the country, and educates teacher leaders. It runs a web site for teachers and trains teacher-leaders to use web-based materials and project-based learning.
Formative evaluation of the new materials is accompanied by the investigation of new instructional strategies, including a constructivist approach to the study of the particle model of matter, project-based learning, knowledge integration using special computerized programs for knowledge representation, longitudinal studies of conceptual development, and acquisition of high-order learning skills. The Group also conducts research on the professional development of teachers and teacher-leaders, and investigates new methods of student assessment.