CIJE winners: Playing children can recharge cellphones

A Student of San Diego Jewish Academy stands with his group's project at the CIJE-Tech Young Engineers Conference hosted by Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles. The CIJE Tech High School Engineering Program is provided by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE).

Joshua Glasser of San Diego Jewish Academy stands with his and Daniel Moch’s project at the CIJE-Tech Young Engineers Conference hosted by Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles. The CIJE Tech High School Engineering Program is provided by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE).

NEW YORK (Press Release)– Nearly 800 students from more than 40 Jewish day schools nationwide presented year-end capstone projects last week, exhibiting their engineering and problem solving skills as part of the CIJE-Tech High School Engineering Program. CIJE Tech Young Engineers conferences were held recently in the 5 Towns, New York, Los Angeles and Southern Florida.

At the California event held in Los Angeles on May 18, San Diego Jewish Academy was among the participants, with Joshua Glasser and Daniel Moch introducing an “Easy Heal” mechanical device to help rehabilitate patients with knee injuries and hyperextension problems.

Their engineering teacher, Mark Muroff, provided this explanation:

The biggest issue with current treatment for patients with hyperextension is that they will constantly rely on a bulky brace that prevents the patient’s knee from going past a certain angle. This causes a reliance upon the brace, causing patients to never be able to walk or run safely without it. This is where our project is different. By using a potentiometer, vibrators, and a wearable structure that we developed, we are able to warn patients with the vibrator when they have overextended their knee. After using this device, the patient can train himself to extend their knee at a safe position when they are walking. The goal of this project is for the patient to eventually be able to walk safely without the dependency on a device or knee brace. By using the Arduino Mini and a smaller portable battery pack, we were able to create a device wearable and portable enough to fit every patient’s need. Our project makes rehabilitation more accessible by having the patient set the potentiometer to a comfortable angle. This allows the patient to walk freely, knowing when they hyperextend by a gentle vibration warning. Our “Easy Heal” is a great platform for future additions such as allowing doctors to save data and evaluate a patient’s recovery progress. All together our project is improving the medical and technological industries to better mankind.

The overall competition “was like a massive ‘shark tank’ competition where students incorporate their creativity, teamwork and engineer solutions to real world problems encountered in everyday life,” said Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) Vice President Judy Lebovits. “We congratulate all of the students who worked so diligently throughout the year throughout the year to successfully address the societal issue they selected.”

The largest STEM high school event on Long Island this year featured projects that foster teamwork, problem solving and engineering skills that students had acquired as part of the CIJE-Tech STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum.

This year, after reviewing the working prototypes and posters detailing all 225 of the projects, one finalist from each school was selected. At the conference, three judges interviewed the students and selected the three most innovative and well designed projects.  The teams from Solomon Schechter School in Hartsdale, New York; Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey; and Bruriah High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey placed first, second, and third respectively.

First place: Nathaniel Kingsbury, Jacob Lovell, Jonathan Tolchinsky, and Lila Trepp, at Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, New York. They developed ‘Playground Power’ a device that harnesses the untapped kinetic energy generated from children playing to recharge cellphones and other electronic devices.

Second place: Students of the Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey, Aliza Sperber, Ayden Shankman, and Zachary Sklar placed second with ‘G.R.A.B.’, a more affordable prosthetic arm.

Third place: Ariela Chomski, Tayla Erblich and Esther Sheina Agishtein, students at Bruriah High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey placed third for their project, ‘Auto-Pharmacist.’ The developed an automatic pill-dispensing device that can minimize human error in drug dispensing at pharmacies.

Students from Miami’s Scheck Hillel Community School, were special guest speakers flown in to address the New York event and presented their project, which they hope will address the problem of mass shooting by identifying guns in schools and other venues.

“These students went the extra mile with their proof of concept and even reached out to their congressman in Washington, DC to lobby for changes in gun control laws, in order to get their product into use,” said Jason Cury CIJE president, when introducing the team of Esther Benasayag, Albert Wolak, and Abraham Woldenberg. “These ninth graders also demonstrated strong initiative to secure expensive electronic equipment to develop their project from Portable Technology Solutions (PTS), a company in Calverton, New York.”

The conference keynote speaker was Ben Englander, vice president of engineering at Rosco Vision Systems, which develops and markets transportation safety technology.

“The purpose of my presentation was to explain that the ideation process starts with each ‘STEMer,'” Englander says.  “In addition to discussing what we do as a company, I explained how engineers take the need for a solution and process it for prototyping, refining and building a product.”  He says that CIJE does a great job. “I think schools need to engage more with STEM programming and CIJE is trying to make that happen.”

CIJE-TECH is a discovery-focused, interactive curriculum with a year each of scientific and biomedical engineering. It exposes students to a diverse range of science and technical knowledge areas while helping develop multidisciplinary and abstract thinking as well as leadership and teamwork skills. Learning is connected to the real world through an emphasis on the application of STEM subjects to everyday life, employment, and the community. To increase STEM learning, the CIJE‐Tech programs include activities that improve student and teacher content knowledge and teacher pedagogy.

Preceding provided by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE).  Comments intended for publication in the space below MUST be accompanied by the letter writer’s first and last name and by his/ her city and state of residence (city and country for those outside the United States.)

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