SciTech2007 - personal narrative

This summer I went to Israel where I spent three marvellous weeks in a science camp in the Tecnion in Haifa. First I would like to tell you about the precautions for this journey. In March I applied for a scholarship and I fortunately got accepted. From that moment I kept trying to become as prepared for the camp as possible. This means both learning about phytoremediation (this was the nickname of our project) and trying to get information about the country and the life there.
In SciTech of course everything centred around our project work so we spent most of our time in air-conditioned laboratories doing research or in front of the computer processing data. That’s why whenever I am asked about the climate of Israel I have to make them disappointed and answer that it’s pleasant.
The real name of our project was ‘How can plants and their associated rhizosphere bacteria reduce industrial contaminents from wastewater?’. Sounds great, insn’t it? We were in the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering. What really made me surprised was that the Technion has its own constructed wetland so we could use plants (mostly common reed) from it. Our very first lesson took place near the constructed wetland in a small park in the shade of pines. It was so different from an average private course! And another good thing was the excellent relationship between Emily, Aryeh, Eyal (our mentor) and me. It was a nice team-work.
Beside lab reseach we also took trips all around the country. We visited Negev desert and Masada which place is very important for Jewish people due to its unexampled history.The most enjoyable place for me was the Dead Sea. We had another two-day-long trip to Jerusalem where we could see The Tunnels, the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem, a very touching holocaust museum.
I have just read my letter of motivation again that I wrote before the camp. I am very proud of it because I managed to reach both my social and scientific goals. I made a lot of friends from all over the world and we still keep in touch. I hope that some of them will accept my invitation and I’ll meet them again soon.
I feel myself very lucky whenever I think of this journey and I can’t be grateful enough to my donator Mr. Russell N. Stern who provided me the scholarship. The best side of the trip was that I could get to know Israel from different aspects both as an ordinary student of a foreign university and as a tourist.
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