April 14, 2024
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STEM Day Takes Over RYNJ

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities took over the RYNJ Lower School as students participated in a STEM day. STEM Day is a day for the students to celebrate and engage in activities involving science, technology, engineering and math. For RYNJ Stem Day the children rotated around STEM-themed activities in a hands-on and experiential way. Members of a company called Cognitoys came to speak to them about a soon-to-be-released Dino toy. The Dino interacted with the students, answered questions, told stories and some very funny knock-knock jokes. The creators of the Dino toy discussed how they programmed the Dino, which served as a springboard to teach the students about computer programming. RYNJ students gave valuable feedback to the designers that they will share with their production team as they get the toy ready for distribution next month.

In addition, students learned the basics of computer programming by playing a board game, sponsored by the RYNJ PTA, called Robot Turtles. This activity was led by RYNJ Educational Technologists Rabbi Efrayim Clair and Rabbi Dov Hochbaum. Students quickly learned how to play the game and how each command they gave resulted in a corresponding move by the turtle. As students mastered the game, more obstacles were introduced to the board. Each action carefully represented various ideas and core principles of computer programming. Students even used bug cards to simulate bugs or errors that produce an unexpected or incorrect action.

Mrs. Jenni Levy, Lower School General Studies Principal, organized the program. The activities were educational and lively; the children delighted in them while gaining a tremendous amount of knowledge in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

By Rabbi Dov Hochbaum, RYNJ Educational Technologist

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