Ramon Spacelab is Israel’s leading educational program in the field of science. The program gives students a unique opportunity to submit an experiment to the International Space Station through an annual research-based learning program. The Space lab program is currently active in 24 schools in Israel and New York, and in the past in New Jersey and Connecticut .
Using the fascinating world of space, the program aims to arouse students with curiosity and to motivate them to dream as far as possible, while utilizing they own inherent personal and social potential.
Through project based learning the students perform a number of tasks, each named after the Columbia team members. The goals of these tasks is to equip the students with a rich toolbox which enables them to send experiments to the International Space Station. The groups of students who participated in the program are escorted by a mentor from the Ramon Foundation along with their teacher. The mentor’s role is to inspire students to fully explore the topics which fascinate them as part of the project and beyond.
The role of the teaching staff is to equip students with key skills which will benefit them both at the mission and outside the program. Each task is designed to encourage students to broaden their horizons and to give them the necessary tools for research. Each task takes between 3-8 meetings, depending on the requirements and depth of the learning process. The task’s methodology is based on NASA’s Mission Management process and the organizational culture of the Israeli Air Force. The students are exposed to effective learning and innovative project management tools using the terminology of NASA.
All groups participating in the project present their experiments – the peak mission, at the final event in front of astronauts, government ministers, NASA officials, the Israeli Space Agency and other leading international space agency representatives who participate in judging the competition.
Experts from academia, industry and government closely monitor the experiments which reach the finals giving the Ramon Foundation access to knowledge and skills which they use to further promote the programs professional and scientific standing. After the winning experiment returns from the space station, the results are published in journals and on scientific sites.
To date, over eleven different experiments have been submitted from schools across the country and in the United States to the International Space Station as part of the RSL project. This has inspired hundreds of students and teachers to take a significant interest in the space and science industry, and encouraged students to be able to fulfill their dreams. For them, the sky is no longer the limit.