Members of Israel's delegations to various Science Olympiads around the world met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other government officials this week prior to departing for their respective competitions.
The Israelis are participating in scientific competitions in Colombia, Denmark, Australia and Russia. They will have the opportunity to show off their skills in chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science.
The team consists of 18 high school students from around the country, including a female Arab student from Nazareth.
Netanyahu said that the delegations will "certainly face big challenges that will require focus," but noted that they are doing so out of a deep love for their respective areas of expertise.
Netanyahu added that "we live in an age of major scientific and technological advancement," and the Jewish state must be on the leading edge of that movement. "Your achievements help ensure the future of the State of Israel," he encouraged the young geniuses.
Education Minister Shai Piron noted that the next Nobel Prize winner could very well be in the room. "I'm sure you will continue to carry the torch of excellence as you go forth," Piron added.
Science Minister Yaakov Perry concluded: "Israel makes every possible effort to continue the tradition of scientific discovery, technological development and invention that has a positive impact on all mankind. Within a few years, this torch will pass to you, and I have no doubt that you will lead the world in these important fields."