Participants in the Competition Benefited from the “Augmented-Reality” Curriculum Developed by Museum of the Bible.
ASHKELON, ISRAEL – Israeli student, Bar Menashe, is the winner of Ashkelon’s Bible Bee. Menashe wins a trip to Washington D.C. where he will represent the city of Ashkelon in an international Bible Bee competition. “It is a great honor to win the Bible Bee and to represent the city of Ashkelon in the world,” says Menashe, who is in the eighth grade at one of three comprehensive junior high schools in Ashkelon using the curriculum.
Each Bible Bee is the capstone of a year-long study of the Bible using innovative “augmented-reality” curriculum funded by the Museum of the Bible and designed in partnership with Compedia.
The first Israeli city to implement the tablet-based curriculum (and corresponding Bible Bee challenge) was Ramat Gan. Spearheaded by Ramat Gan’s mayor, Yisrael Singer, the program’s overwhelming success with students garnered the attention of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Society, which honored Mayor Singer with an award for his pioneering work championing the new program. In fact, Bible teachers who teach in the program received a Certificate of Excellence from the Ministry of Education.
“What we are seeing in Israel is a Bible revival as a result of this curriculum,” says Gil Ilutowich, CEO of Compedia.
The curriculum delivers content designed to engage the smartphone generation with the Bible. Features include hundreds of interactive media elements such as virtual reality, 3D models, interactive maps, and gamified quizzes. The curriculum is designed to take the study of this ancient book squarely into the twenty-first century.
“What could be a greater compliment to the work of the Museum of the Bible? Our interactive, Bible curriculum is being celebrated in the land where it all began,” said Cary Summers, president of the Museum of the Bible.
“This is nothing short of a game changer for students learning about the Bible,” says Steven Bickley, vice president of the Museum of the Bible. “I’ve been to three of these quizzes now and I describe it as a ‘pep-rally for the Bible’. Seeing it embraced like this in Israel confirms just how powerful this tool can be for students in every corner of the world.”
The 430,000 square foot Museum of the Bible is under construction in Washington, D.C. and is set to open in 2017. In addition to the state-of-the-art facility under construction, the institution’s mission includes innovative educational tools like the augmented-reality curriculum as well as extensive research projects in dozens of countries and touring exhibits that have literally circled the globe, from the Vatican to Cuba.
“The Bible is at the heart of ancient and modern culture,” says Mr. Summers. “It’s important that young people understand this book, not just as an inspirational exercise but for the sake of education. The Bible adds context and understanding to so much else in life and history. It’s hard to have a quality education without a thorough understanding of this book. Now, we’re bringing that understanding in a whole new way to a whole new generation.”
The program has grown from 1,500 students in 2015 to over 6,000 in 2016, and plans are underway to reach tens of thousands by 2017. The curriculum is also being adopted by private and homeschool communities throughout the United States.
The Bible Bee is just one example of the Museum of the Bible’s relationship with the Israel, including a partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority that will provide exhibit space inside the Museum’s facility in Washington D.C.. The Museum of the Bible’s travelling exhibit also found an extended home at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.