Dr. Orit Gefen Photo by Bruno Charbit. 

Dr. Orit Gefen grew up in Jerusalem and received her doctorate in Physics in 2010 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2006 she completed a teaching certificate, and has since been teaching Physics in a girls’ school in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem. Her example was one of the inspirations for the creation of the Teacher-Researcher program. As one of the original Teacher-Researchers, she is also working as a research fellow in a biophysics lab.

Gefen is the mastermind behind the exceptional day that brought 100 high school students from around the city to visit HU’s Edmond J. Safra Campus. The students came from diverse neighborhoods all over Jerusalem, but what they had in common was that their science teachers are all a part of the Teacher-Researcher program.

The day at Hebrew University offered them insight into the research of their teachers, and let them experience what it is like to learn on a campus in state-of-the-art labs. Students participated in hands on experiments in 3D Printing, Nanotechnology, and Physics.

“It was so inspiring to watch my students explore the University – entering the labs, engaging, showing interest and enthusiasm. The initiative of the researchers to host the high school students in their labs shows that academia wants a connection with high schools and is willing to invest in it,” says Gefen.

The students were equally impressed with Gefen’s lab. “We are exposed to the entire world of science from different perspectives, not only through study material, but also through observing experiments and meeting researchers,” explains Yarden, Dr. Gefen’s student from Ohr Torah Stone – Midrasha. “There is simply no comparison.”