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Walworth Barbour American International School In Israel School Logo
Walworth Barbour American International School in Israel Logo
Walworth Barbour American International School in Israel Logo

HS Hallmark Programs



The GAIA Project is an environmental research project created to raise student awareness about local environmental concerns and take an active community-based role working towards a resolution. The GAIA Project is part of the Walworth Barbour American International School in Israel (WBAIS).

Middle and high school students enrolled in GAIA from different schools and socio-economic backgrounds work collaboratively under mentors to identify a specific question about a topic of interest or concern in their local community. Through scientific research, community engagement, and sharing collected data with their local and international network, they work towards developing and implementing a sustainable solution. A typical research question will need 3-5 years of data collection and analysis before the team issues a final summary.

GAIA projects have three stages: Awareness, Investigation, and Action.

  1. Awareness

GAIA raises student awareness through field trips to local nature reserves, wildlife habitats, and natural ecosystems as well as field experiences through workshops, collaborations with experts and consultants. These experiences build student appreciation and greater understanding for environmental issues both locally and globally. As students become more familiar with the local environment—and the local resources available to them—they begin to ask questions and select one essential question to investigate further.

  1. Investigation

After students develop essential questions, they begin to collect background information for a better understanding of the problem. Background information includes the basic facts and history, current issues, relevant statistics and local / global impact of your problem or issue. As data is collected, analyzed, and interpreted it is communicated locally to their school community. Once reviewed it is shared globally online. GAIA experts provide students feedback and constructive criticism on their essential questions, monitoring techniques, data collection, analysis and interpretation. As students interact with local experts and GAIA scientists, they begin to construct action plans.

  1. Action

GAIA organizes inter-school research activities to give students the opportunity to work and learn with each other. GAIA also arranges an annual symposium providing a venue for students from enrolled schools to present their research.

Model United Nations Program

While MUN is not unique to WBAIS, the scale and scope of student, faculty, and staff involvement makes it an integral part of the school's program. MUN students travel around the world to participate in MUN conferences.

Students experience the intensity and rewards of dealing with global politics, researching and debating issues, drafting policy papers, and interacting with peers from different cultures and countries. In addition to honing their academic and leadership skills, students learn about cultural differences, and to view issues emphatically from multiple viewpoints.

Every year, WBAIS hosts TIMEMUN which brings more than 500 students from MUN clubs in Israel and Europe to represent their "countries" and try to make the world a better place.

HS Robotics

Both the Middle School and High School feature robotics teams which complete in competitions against other schools to see who can build the best robot. This endeavor takes hours and hours of the students' and faculty members' time and skill. But in the end, it's up to the robot to perform, or is it?

Poland Trip

High School students from all backgrounds travel to Poland to bear witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust and honor the memories of those who have perished and honor the survivors who still live on. The trip, which takes place every other year, is a week long, intensive, and unforgettable experience. Students and teachers spend many hours in preparation for this journey. When they return home, there are also follow-up sessions to process the experience.

From a student's blog after the Poland Trip:

While this journey appears to be based on learning about the atrocities of the Holocaust and the evilness of the perpetrators for those crimes, in reality it had been a journey through our own soul and has also presented us with hope for our future. Through the devastation of disaster came hope with the stories of Righteous Amongst the Nations and Ghetto Revolutions, showing how not all man is evil and that another Holocaust can be avoided, if we try to aim for good in our life. This journey has affected every single one of its participants in ways not imaginable, while preparing them for the future to prevent another Holocaust in the search through their own soul.

Hockey Marathon

Hockey Marathon has been a WBAIS tradition since 1973 and is the most popular athletic event of the year in both the Middle and High Schools. To determine the winner between the blue and the red teams, high school students play over 30 hours of hockey. Hockey Marathon includes an opening ceremony of shows and performances, dozens of hockey games day and night, friendships made, fundraising for the Save a Child's Heart Foundation, and many memories for a lifetime.

Senior Project

thical Issues Related to Human Cloning, Mathematical Approaches to Interpreting the Divine, and Post Scarcity Economies are just three recent senior project topics that allow students to, for the first time in their academic career, to both research and complete a project which culminates in a length research paper, portfolio, and 30-minute presentation to their peers, spectators, and families. The student is also expected to take questions from a faculty panel on their project during the presentation.

Senior Project is a rigorous course to prepare students for college and even master's level research. Skills practiced in this course include the selection of a topic, proposal writing, the art of oral defense, research techniques, the writing process, conducting field research, time management, and interpersonal skills.

The Senior Project presentation is a culminating and unforgetable moment in a student's academic career at WBAIS.

Week Without Walls

The primary purpose of Week without Walls is to provide a unique learning opportunity otherwise not possible in the daily classroom. It is an opportunity to build friendships, develop team building and leadership skills, travel to some amazing Israeli cultural locations and participate in activity-based programs.

High School WWW and Middle School WWW are typically held in the fall to welcome new students to Israel and integrate new students into the community. The trips are staffed by WBAIS faculty who use the opportunity to get to know their students outside of a strictly academic setting.

Student come back with an appreciation of both the activities, each other, and their teachers.