July 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

JEC Leads the Way in Science Training Program

Elizabeth, NJ – The Jewish Education­al Center of Elizabeth played host to the an­nual SET3 science and engineering program teacher-training series, led by JEC faculty vet­eran Joel Javitt. In SET3, teams of eighth grad­ers compete to solve an engineering problem with societal benefit. Students build a working prototype machine, and in the process learn how to work in teams, to make written and oral presentations, and to use math problem-solv­ing skills for real-world problems.

SET3 stands for Science, Engineering, and Technology, Teamwork, Training (T cubed), as the goal of the program is to enhance stu­dent interest in these fields. Javitt, who former­ly worked at AT&T/Bell Labs, developed SET3 for the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Educa­tion (CIJE).

“SET3 lets students experience what it would be like to work in a company that engineers new products, and along the way they learn a lot about math, science, engi­neering, and teamwork,” Javitt said. “This kind of practical experience helps students focus their education on learning skills that will be useful to them when they start their careers.”

For teachers who guide the students through their SET3 projects, coaching engi­neering design is very different from teach­ing a class, and CIJE provides training to teach them the required skills. “The teacher training gives teachers the opportunity to understand the pedagogical design of the course,” Javitt ex­plained. “They get to view the material through the eyes of their students by doing the same experiments the students would do.”

Carolina Biological, a major science sup­ply company based out of Burlington, North Carolina, sent a representative to the teacher training to show how its equipment and les­sons fit into the total course.

“I thought it was a really exciting program because we can bring kids closer to technol­ogy through active engineering projects,” said Priscilla Lainez, a science teacher at JEC’s Rav Teitz Mesivta Academy, who participated in the program. “I think they’ll benefit from it be­cause it helps them connect what they know from a more traditional science class to things that are useful in modern society. In the teach­er-training workshop, we learned the skills and training we need to bring a greater experience into the classroom.”

Participating schools who sent faculty to the training include: Brauser Maimonides Academy, Carmel Academy, Donna Klein Jew­ish Academy, Hillel Yeshiva–Deal, JFS (Staten Island), JEC’s Rav Teitz Mesivta Academy, SAR, Shalom Torah, Shaare Torah Boys, SSSQ, SSW, Yeshiva Darchei Torah, Yeshivat Noam, Yeshiva of Central Queens, Yeshiva of South Shore, Ye­shiva Torah Vodaath, and YBH–Hillel.

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