An important component of the department’s activity is to provide teachers with academically-based programs to promote their life-long learning and professional development.
- Three national centers for science teachers (chemistry, physics, and science and technology in middle schools). There are about 8000 teachers in these disciplines. The centers specialize in the continuous professional development for leading science teachers, as well as for the general audience of science teachers. The centers are directed by senior staff scientists of the department, and act as the academic and practical home for many teacher-development activities in Israel. In addition to activities carried out centrally (such as national conferences), the centers support and counsel regional professional-development programs, develop and provide resource materials, and accompany the activities with research and evaluation. The centers are supported financially by the Ministry of Education that funds nationally one national teacher center per scientific discipline, except for mathematics.
- A program for training mentors of beginning teachers in schools. They oversee the practicum of new teachers in the induction program of the Ministry of Education. To date, 120 teacher-mentors have been trained.
- A variety of short and long-term courses for teachers. These courses are integrated into the academic activities of the department (e.g., an EU-funded project for promoting context-based science learning).
- A non-degree track supported by the Rothschild Foundation provides opportunities to teachers who already have advanced degrees to develop and implement field initiatives under the guidance of the Science Teaching Department and Weizmann Institute scientists.