They say knowledge makes it possible to connect the dots. At CONNECTION, they do much more than that: CONNECTION is an initiative for boys and girls aged 12-14 from the Jewish settlement of Misgav and the nearby Arab village of Salame who share a love for robotics. Watching them at work in their studio in Misgav, surrounded by the robots they’ve built — and hearing them at community meetings, presenting technological solutions to local challenges — one can’t help but be struck by how a passion for learning, collaboration, and innovation seems strong enough to overcome any barrier. Strong enough, too, to raise these teens’ self-confidence, and to build bridges between cultures and peoples.
Unsurprisingly, it is precisely those partnerships between different cultures and peoples that yield the most impressive results: Last year, CONNECTION was selected to represent Israel at the FIRST robotics competition in the United States, hosted by the world’s leading nonprofit for the promotion of STEM education.
Of course, for these kids, the most prestigious international robotics competition for youth is hardly the pinnacle. It’s almost certainly just the beginning.