From Past to Present Day


In 1959, Prof. Olendorf of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering drew the Technion Senate’s attention to a significant lack of professional mathematics, science, and technology teachers. As a result, the Senate decided to launch a high school teacher training program in these disciplines. Professor Kurzweil, then chair of the Department of Humanistic Studies, was appointed head of a new inter-disciplinary committee charged with establishing this program.

Professors Olendorf and Kurzweil first recruited Dr. Arye Perlberg and later on invited Shmuel Avital, a senior mathematics teacher at Bosmat (a vocational high school in Haifa), Dr. Zechariah Netzer, superintendent of chemistry teaching at the Ministry of Education, and physicist Noah Lerman to joint the team.. Together they designed the initial courses for a high school teaching diploma that were offered in parallel to studies towards a bachelor’s degree at the other Technion faculties. Engineer Yoseph Cohen joined the team a year later, to provide training for vocational school teachers as well.

In 1964, the inter-disciplinary committee became the Department of Teacher Training, and in 1978 its name was changed to its previous name – The Department of Education in Technology and Science. Graduate studies towards a master’s degree in science education were launched in 1967, with three graduate students: Menachem Feingold (physics), Naama Greenshpon (chemistry), and Nitsa Hadar (mathematics). At the same time, a new unit was established to provide courses for in-service teachers to support life-long learning for department graduates holding teaching positions in the school system.

In the early 1970s, Shmuel Avital and Noah Lerman were sent abroad to complete their doctoral studies in mathematics education and physics education, respectively. Upon their return, the department launched a graduate studies program leading to a Ph.D. degree. The Technion acknowledged the department’s need for a separate building, and so it was moved temporarily to the prefabricated buildings located on campus.

In 1965, the Technion Senate approved a degree program in science education that integrated disciplinary courses (such as mathematics, physics, biology, computer science, and mechanical engineering) and courses in education (such as psychology, sociology, and teaching methods). As of 1999, high-achieving students from other departments can enroll and complete a second bachelor’s degree program in science education, in parallel to their regular studies.

In 1979, the department relocated to its permanent building, thanks to a donation from George and Beatrice Sherman of New England.

In the 1980s, the department joined the Amos De-Shalit Israeli inter-university Center for Science and Technology Education, and faculty members started initiating a variety of creative activities and diverse long-term projects aimed at improving the teaching of science in Israel. In the 1990s, the department became a hub for research and development activities conducted by active teachers through the national pedagogical centers it established, first for mathematics, then for computer science, and later on for technology, and technology-and-science-for-all.

In 2007, the department inaugurated The Ruth & Allen Ziegler Center for Learning Science thanks to a generous donation from Mrs. Ziegler of Los Angeles. As part of its activities, the center holds national and international conferences and invites world-renowned research scholars in science education at large to spend time at the center collaborating with faculty members.

In 2009 the Department of Education in Technology and Science celebrated the first jubilee of teacher education at the Technion. Alongside this central activity, the department conducts research in diverse fields – innovative teaching methods, employing advanced technologies in education, science in the media, and tertiary education, to name a few.

In 2012, the deprtment’s name has been changed to The Department of Education in Science and Technology.

In June, 2015, the status of the unit has been changed to a Faculty.