May 25, 2024
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Kushner to Host Summer “Maker Experience”

Livingston—“STEM” and “maker” have become buzzwords lately, synonymous with forward-thinking, innovative scientists, teachers and inventors. The Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School has incorporated an elective STEM program into its curriculum: teaching scientific engineering to sophomores, genetic engineering to juniors and biomedical engineering to seniors. The programming has developed as part of the CIJE (Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education) push to get high school students excited about subjects from which many shy away. Three years ago, it adapted the Israel Sci-Tech Schools Network’s STEM program for use in American high schools, including RKYHS.

The school is now preparing to take this programming a step further, and is excited to announce that it will be hosting the RKYHS Maker Experience this summer. A three week program for incoming high school students at all grade and academic levels, it is intended to “provide exposure to gateway skills in computer programming, electronics and circuitry, working with microcontrollers, and higher math,” said program facilitator Dr. Steve Stein, RKYHS engineering instructor.

“We want to teach invention, innovation, and problem solving—all in a fun environment. It is tremendously motivating and self-validating when students are able to get something to work that perhaps didn’t work previously,” added Stein.

The program will provide the opportunity to go beyond classroom lectures and “get their hands into it,” Stein said. It will begin with a simple project, creating a cell phone charger using an AA battery, to get the participants’ creative juices flowing. The bulk of the program will center on a particular “problem” identified by the students. They will search for a solution through experimentation, finally creating this solution and making it functional.

“Science should be about being creative and trying to figure out how things work, not rote memorization. This course will teach students to figure out how to figure it out,” said Stein.

The program will run from July 20-August 7, and will cost $1,800 for the session, which will meet for six hours (and includes a kosher lunch) daily. For more information, email [email protected] or visit www.rkyhs.org/makerexperience.

By Jill Kirsch

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