The Zoo Bagrut High School Graduation Program allows highly gifted students from the 11th grade to participate in a sought-after and elite academic course presented at the Biblical Zoo and approved by the Israel Ministry of Education as a high school graduation credit. The goal of this program is to create the next generation of leadership in nature conservation by focusing on the exceptional students. Each year 15 participants from diverse backgrounds are selected to participate.
Israel faces dire environmental issues that require immediate attention. During the 20th century, 22 species of vertebrates as well as 4 other sub-species became extinct from Israel. These were joined by at least 6 insect species and 15 types of molluscs. Many species disappeared without us ever knowing of their existence. Currently a wide range of aquatic habitats and species as well as birds of prey are particularly vulnerable mainly because of the impact of human activity on the environment.
This program forms the core of each participant's high school graduation year and is presented by a core of highly qualified and motivated educators and advisors including the Zoo's Chief Curator and Veterinary Officer. The program involves studies in biology, zoology, ecology, biology, veterinary science, animal husbandry, and nature conservation (with emphasis on Israel) designed to teach youth valuable research skills to investigate environmental problems and devise creative solutions.
Our youth are the leaders of the future and engaging them in protecting wildlife and to take responsibility for their own impact on the environment encourages a life-long interest in creating and implementing creative solutions to many environmental problems. Although some participants will choose a career in this field, even those who do not will be active stewards of our natural resources in leadership positions across fields of every kind because this program targets gifted students.