July 25, 2024
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Frisch and Bruriah Students Place in Top Three at Nationwide CIJE-Tech Young Engineers Conference

Nearly 800 students from more than 40 Jewish day schools nationwide presented year-end capstone projects last week, exhibiting their engineering and problem-solving skills as part of the CIJE-Tech High School Engineering Program. CIJE Tech Young Engineers conferences were held recently in the Five Towns, New York, Los Angeles and Southern Florida.

“This event was like a massive Shark Tank competition where students incorporate their creativity, teamwork and engineer solutions to real world problems encountered in everyday life,” said Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) vice president Judy Lebovits. “We congratulate all of the students who worked so diligently throughout the year to successfully address the societal issue they selected.”

This year, after reviewing the working prototypes and posters detailing all 225 of the projects, one finalist from each school was selected. At the conference, three judges interviewed the students and selected the three most innovative and well-designed projects. The teams from Solomon Schechter School in Hartsdale, New York, Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey and Bruriah High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey placed first, second, and third respectively.

For the first place project, Nathaniel Kingsbury, Jacob Lovell, Jonathan Tolchinsky and Lila Trepp developed Playground Power, a device that harnesses the untapped kinetic energy generated from children playing to recharge cellphones and other electronic devices.

Aliza Sperber, Ayden Shankman, and Zachary Sklar placed second with G.R.A.B., a more affordable prosthetic arm.

The third place winners, Ariela Chomski, Tayla Erblich and Esther Sheina Agishtein designed Auto-Pharmacist, an automatic pill-dispensing device that can minimize human error in drug dispensing at pharmacies.

Students from Miami’s Scheck Hillel Community School, were special guest speakers flown in to speak at the New York event. They presented their project, which they hope will address the problem of mass shooting by identifying guns in schools and other venues.

“These students went the extra mile with their proof of concept and even reached out to their congressman in Washington, D.C. to lobby for changes in gun control laws, in order to get their product into use,” said Jason Cury CIJE president, when introducing the team of Esther Benasayag, Albert Wolak and Abraham Woldenberg. “These ninth graders also demonstrated strong initiative to secure expensive electronic equipment to develop their project from Portable Technology Solutions (PTS), a company in Calverton, New York.”

The conference keynote speaker was Ben Englander, vice president of engineering at Rosco Vision Systems, which develops and markets transportation safety technology.

“The purpose of my presentation was to explain that the ideation process starts with each STEMer,” Englander said. “In addition to discussing what we do as a company, I explained how engineers take the need for a solution and process it for prototyping, refining and building a product.”

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