April 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

JEC’s Rav Teitz Mesivta Academy Shines a Spotlight on SciTech

Elizabeth—In Sci Tech* we were given a project to build a menorah using Arduino and LEDs. An Arduino is a microcontroller which is similar to a mini computer and the LED’s we were using looked like tiny lightbulbs.

I wanted to do more than produce a mediocre menorah with LEDs that flashed on and off, so I went digging in the Sci Tech room and found some interesting things, including an LCD screen and a keypad. I researched online and found out how to program these new devices and then wrote my own program using new and past knowledge of Arduino.

My program had the Shamash always on and coordinated the correct number of lights to turn on for that day. All the user needed to do was to simply press a number on the keypad. To make it even more special, I made the LCD screen display “Felíz Chanukah” (Happy Chanukah in Spanish) and indicate which night of Chanukah was pressed before the lights turned on.

I had some extra keys on the keypad so I assigned the others to display a rabbi’s name or an RTMA motto on the screen when pressed.

I had so much fun with this project that I didn’t even care about the prize that came with it.

* Sci-Tech is part of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Program that RTMA runs for its 8th, 9th and 10th graders. It falls under the auspices of the SCITECH initiative sponsored by CIJE (Center for Jewish Education).

Etan Ohevshalom is an RTMA sophomore from West Orange, NJ.

By Etan Ohevshalom

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