April 23, 2024
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RKYHS Initiates Summer STEM ‘Maker Experience’

Building on the success of its extensive and expansive STEM course sequences, the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School (RKYHS) in Livingston has initiated a summer intensive training program for high school students throughout New Jersey called the “Maker Experience.”

The six-hour daily program runs from July 11 through August 5 and provides students with intensive training in problem solving as well as gateway skills in computer programming, electronics and circuitry, working with microcontrollers and higher math.

“We teach invention, innovation and problem solving—all in a fun environment,” according to Program Director Dr. Steven Stein, who is also RKYHS Science Department Chair. “It is tremendously motivating and self-validating when students are able to identify a problem, research it, design a solution and get it to work on their own. This also motivates them to dig deeply into the fundamental scientific principles underlying their work.”

The program provides an opportunity to go beyond classroom lectures and “really get their hands into it,” Stein said. The program began with a simple project such as creating a cell phone charger using an AA battery, to get the participants’ creative juices flowing and begin building skills. The bulk of the program centers on a particular “problem” identified by each student. Students search for a solution through research and experimentation, finally creating a solution and making it functional. There is a lot of brainstorming, design and redesign.

The program presents science as being creative and trying to figure out how things work, not mere rote memorization. “The Maker Experience teaches students how to figure out how to figure it out,” added Stein. Students first need to be able to obtain a sense of what is known and understood, but also how to think outside the box and get creative in their approach.

There is still limited space available in the program, which includes participating students from Bergen, Essex, Middlesex and Morris counties. The program runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily on the campus of RKYHS located in Livingston. For more information visit http://dhunter175.wix.com/makerexperience or contact Deborah Hunter, Program Director at [email protected].

The Maker Experience is an extension of the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School’s expansive STEM program, which is incorporated into its regular science curriculum of the classic offerings of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. STEM courses offered at RKYHS include Coding, Scientific Engineering, Genetic Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, with additional courses in Bioethics, Robotics and Advanced Computer Science.

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