(Courtesy of CIJE) The Seventh Annual CIJE Innovation Day took place on May 19 at the historical Bell Works in Holmdel, New Jersey. This event was the culmination of a year of diligence and perseverance on the part of close to 1,500 young innovators and visionaries, representing 44 schools from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Texas. The annual CIJE Innovation Day provides an exciting time for students to present the capstone projects which they created, designed and engineered in the areas of innovation in Scientific Engineering, Eldercare, Arts, Eco-innovation, Healthcare and Assistive Technology, and Consumer Products.
Students proudly exhibited their projects and enthusiastically discussed the value of their “inventions.” Students came to Innovation Day prepared with comprehensive business plans and pitches.
Clear Water Harvesting, designed by a group of HAFTR students, addressed the lack of access of potable water. This invention preserves and purifies rainwater, utilizing Arduino sensors to a condensation system that is connected to a water filter.
A group of Ma’ayanot HS students addressed the fundamental need to create an accessible Hebrew language program for the blind through their Pokeach Ivrit project. This Arduino-based system uses Braille and servo motors that move in real time for expression of a tactile word or letter, which is connected to a sound shield that plays the audio version of the word or letter.
Bracha Erblich, a veteran CIJE-Tech Instructor at Bruriah High School commented, “As always, CIJE Innovation Day was an outstanding experience for my students and, along with the capstone projects, was the highlight of their year. The teacher training, supplies, ideas and mentors provided by CIJE have fueled creativity that drive not only the individual students in our CIJE-tech classes, but also the school at large.”
At Innovation Day, one very excited student commented, “It is such an amazing experience to work together with my team and invent something new that can be produced and used in the real world to help people who have disabilities.”
For over a decade, CIJE, the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education, has fostered innovation in Jewish schools throughout the United States. CIJE HS students create understandings that turn into prototypes that portray and help the world in new and beneficial ways. At Innovation Day, students show their passion for learning about the world, turning their knowledge into breakthroughs which will make the world a better place, and introducing innovations and changes to things that already exist. It is a way of observing what is, and then imagining and designing a new and improved way of doing it.
The CIJE Award for Excellence in Eco-Innovation went to HAFTR, Ilan HS and MTA. The DentServ Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Assistive Technology was given to RKYHS, Central and Solomon Schechter Westchester. The RoboKiller Award for Innovation in Consumer Products went to Bais Yaakov of Waterbury, RKYHS and DRS. The East Brooklyn Labs Award for Technology Innovation in the Arts was given to Ma’ayanot, Golda Och Academy and Central. The Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation Award for Advancement in Elder Care went to Ma’ayanot, Yeshiva Darche Eres and The Frisch School. The Dr. Lynne B. Harrison Award for Innovation in Scientific Engineering was given to Bruriah (first and second place) and The Frisch School. The Award for Innovation in Engineering Technion – Israel Institute of Technology went to JEC, The Frisch School and Mesivta Zichron Baruch of Clifton. Finally, the Yeshiva University Student Choice Award went to Bi-Cultural HS, HAFTR and Shevach.