A new academic program that trains youth and children in computer science, to prepare them for potential undergraduate studies in the field. Participants from two local high schools are selectively chosen. In the course of the program they learn several basic topics (e.g. programming languages) at a level equivalent to freshmen introductory courses, and apply them (through programming games, etc.). The program was developed and is managed by senior MTA faculty members, with MTA students serving as instructors.
The current (and first) cohort has 23 students participate—about half Jewish and half Arab. Program staff holds structured encounter workshops between the Arab and Jewish participants, and gradually they get to know each other and begin cooperating in their work. Additional benefits from the program include: strengthening math, English and—for Arab students—Hebrew skills. For the Arab participants in particular the program proves important for their self-confidence and sense of equality with Jewish participants, since all students are facing similar academic challenges.