The success of science museums lies in the value they place on cooperation. International cooperation between science museums enables our team to learn from others, share our knowledge, develop collaborative projects, and apply new tools and approaches to local activities.
The museum is an active member of ICOM (The International Council of Museums), ASTC (The Association of Science and Technology Centers), ECSITE (The European Network for Science Centres & Museums), Eusea (The European Science Engagement Association), and cooperates with various institutions and organizations on projects supported by the European Union (EU).
Science has no borders, and the global community of science museums believes in sharing content, knowledge and tools. Since its inception, the Bloomfield Science Museum has cooperated with science museums around the world in hosting traveling exhibitions, curating and producing exhibitions, expanding revenue-generating collaborative projects, and strengthening cultural and scientific engagement between Israel and countries in Europe and North America. In addition to developing and producing exhibitions, some of the museum’s unique exhibits are currently exhibited in science museums around the world.
Over the years, the museum has participated in 15 European projects as part of the Horizon 20, FP6 and FP7 funding programs. The museum’s involvement in international initiatives has placed it at the forefront of scientific and technological education, as well as science communication. Moreover, cooperating with international partners significantly contributes to the development of knowledge and tools on the basis of shared experience.
Projects the museum has cooperated on and led include:
As part of its efforts to promote scientific education, the museum has cooperated on and led several innovative EU-supported projects that aim to encourage schools to engage with, and for, the community, while focusing on calls for proposal to enhance open schooling for science education.
12 European countries collaborated on this three-year project (2017-2020), developing and implementing a model that would encourage schools to foster innovation. In collaboration with ORT-Israel, the country’s largest technology and science educational network, the museum fostered cooperation between students, teachers, parents, and the business sector in the community to create a culture that fosters innovation and civic responsibility, and helped transform ORT schools into centers for the expansion and dissemination of scientific knowledge.
To the projects' web page- https://www.openschools.eu/
The experience gained and knowledge acquired during OSOS served as the foundation for kicking off another project – “Make It Open”. Initiated by the museum with partners from Europe and the US, “Make It Open” won a three-year grant at the end of 2020. Within the framework of this project, open schooling hubs were formed in ten European countries to empower schools that adopt the open schooling concept. Working with teachers, the partners have developed 16 learning scenarios for elementary and middle schools, as well as a MOOC – Massive Open Online Course – to help teachers and educators building their own learning scenarios.
To the projects' web page- https://makeitopen.eu/
Led by the museum and funded by the EU, ENGINEER is an educational initiative that aims to promote science and technology studies across elementary schools across Europe. The three-year project comprises the development of new educational content as well as science teacher training courses. The project spans 12 European countries and 26 formal and informal learning institutions – science museums, schools and universities. ENGINEER is based on the Boston Museum of Science “Engineering is Elementary” model of inquiry-based learning that aims to enhance both boys’ and girls’ participation in science and technology by creating problems and challenges of relevance to their everyday lives.
Research shows that education is pivotal in bridging gender gaps and affording equal access to employment and economic opportunities. Recognizing this, the museum seeks to engage and encourage girls to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses in school and academia, and enhance their interest in STEM and STEM-related careers.
In the past decade, the museum has participated in several programs, both in Israel and abroad, among them Towards Women in Science and Technology (TWIST) and its follow-up project, HYPATIA. Within the framework of these programs, lesson plans and guidelines for teachers and educators were developed (and later adopted by the Ministry of Education); guidance sheets, recommendations and activities were created for researchers and engineers who volunteer in the education system; and activities were held for teenagers and their parents, as well as events and conferences for professionals in these fields. All these materials are Open Access Resources, available to the general public, free of charge.
In light of the experience gained, the museum now acts as an expert body and a national support center that leads initiatives, and consults on how to best locally implement the plans and activities created, including those developed by other European partners.
The EU-supported HYPATIA project (2015-2018) brought together the Bloomfield Science Museum, along with five other science museums, research institutions, science centers and industries in Europe, in encouraging more girls to engage in STEM courses and enhance their interest in STEM and STEM-related careers.
The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a European Commission FET (Future and Emerging Technology) flagship project and one of the largest research projects in the world, comprising 140 research centers and institutions across Europe. Within this framework, the Bloomfield Science Museum was in charge of mediating the research findings to the public by producing and constructing a traveling exhibition. In 2019, "Mind The Brain" - the Human Brain Project Museum Exhibition – opened in the Bloomfield Science Museum. It was later displayed in the Copernicus Science Centre Science Museum in Warsaw, Poland, as part of a formative evaluation process before moving on to other science museums across Europe.
To the projects' web page- https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/en/
One of the museum’s flagship exhibitions and a crowning glory in terms of international cooperation was “Bicycles 2 X 200” – an exhibition that celebrated the bicentennial of the bicycle. Curated and produced by the Bloomfield Science Museum, “Bicycles 2 X 200” was born of the cooperation between four science museums in Israel, Europe and the US. Comprising dozens of interactive exhibits, historic collections, unique contemporary bicycles, artworks and video art, “Bicycles 2 X 200” told the story of one of the most influential technological, environmental and social inventions of all time.
The exhibition combined unique interactive exhibits developed by the museum’s team, together with rare historic items from private collectors and the Velorama National Bicycle Museum in the Netherlands. After it ran in Jerusalem, “Bicycles 2 X 200” traveled to Universum Bremen in Bremen, Germany, and Città della Scienza in Naples, Italy. In 2020, as COVID-19 lockdown measures were being lifted across Europe, the exhibition traveled to Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Poland, where it ran until February 2022.
ICOM: International Council of Museums
|Ecsite: European network of science centres and museums||https://www.ecsite.eu/|
|ASTC: The Association of Science and Technology Centers||https://www.astc.org/|
|Eusea: European Science Engagement Association||https://eusea.info/|
In October 2020, Maya Halevy, director of Jerusalem's Bloomfield Science Museum, was awarded the Beacon of the Year Award by the European Science Museum Organization (ECSITE). The Beacon of the Year Award is presented annually in recognition of innovative visionaries who empower and motivate their peers to reach a common goal: emboldening citizens to engage with science.
As director of the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem, Halevy was awarded the Beacon of the Year Award for her “remarkable impact on fostering scientific engagement, her outstanding skills and her generosity in sharing knowledge and resources, as well as her desire and ability to collaborate."