July 23, 2024
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Moriah Hosts CIJE Bytes Fair

Last week Wednesday, 12 teams of middle school students from The Moriah School, Yeshivat Noam, Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva (RPRY), and SAR Academy gathered at Moriah to share their accomplishments and learn from one another at the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education’s (CIJE) Bytes Technology Fair.

Students were challenged to create an interactive learning experience, such as a game or puzzle, using a set of electrical components that teaches users about Israel’s history. From waves of aliyot to the creation of the Hagana, fair participants learned about many chapters in Israel’s history and witnessed them merge with innovative engineering.

“This competition and fair not only showcases the technical abilities of the participants, but it also highlights their problem-solving skills and teamwork,” said Sandra Knoll, a science teacher and CIJE Bytes Fair coordinator at Moriah.

Expert CIJE STEM mentors Teresa Doan and Dewain Clark also attended the event to engage with the students and evaluate the technology and code in their projects.

“The presentations delivered by our students were nothing short of remarkable. It was evident that they had grown in confidence and skill throughout the process,” says Barbara Sehgal, a science teacher at Yeshivat Noam. Further, “one of the highlights of the technology fair was the opportunity for our students to interact with their peers from other schools … It was a fantastic experience for them to witness the diverse ideas and approaches of fellow students, igniting their curiosity and broadening their horizons.”

The CIJE Bytes program is a hands-on electronics and computer programming curriculum intended for middle school students. Students work in teams for months leading up to the fair to learn how to use electronic components—uniform parts provided by CIJE in the bytes kit—and write code to control those components in Arduino’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The process teaches students not only about the basics of electrical engineering but also sparks their curiosity, strengthens their problem-solving skills, builds their ability to work as a team, demonstrates the value of learning through trial and error and hones their presentation skills.

CIJE plans to invite more middle school teams to participate in the event in the Spring of 2024. To learn more about CIJE, please visit www.theCIJE.org.

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