CIJE Innovation Day – 2018

The CIJE-Tech High School Program is currently in its seventh year.  As a significant part of the Cije-Tech program, students are encouraged to experience creative-inventive thinking. At the beginning of each school year, students embark upon a “journey”, during which they acquire various skills in the STEM areas.  This “journey” culminates in the creation, by the students, of a scientific-technological product that addresses a specific need or problem in society.  These capstone projects are meant to encourage originality and unfettered thinking and the application of knowledge acquired by the students.  On May 6, at The New York Hilton, 1242 CIJE-Tech students, representing 37 students hailing from Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania showcased their innovative capstone products in the areas in the areas of assistive technology, healthcare, safety, and consumer products. The CIJE Seventh Annual Innovation Day was a tremendous success, with more than two thousand people attending!  “This event brought together students from many different types of high schools to present their unique and innovative capstone projects as part of their preparation for 21st century careers, “remarked Jason Cury, CIJE President.

Dr. Joseph Jacobson, Associate Professor and head of the MIT Media Lab’s Molecular Machine research group delivered an inspiring Keynote Address. This year included the inaugural presentation of the Rambam Innovation Award, a joint initiative of CIJE and the American Friends of Rambam Medical Center, a leading Israeli center for emergency response and trauma.  The competition challenged students to create a project that would correlate with the Rambam Center’s work in preparation and response to disasters and mass casualty situations.  Students representing the Frisch School placed first and second. Third place was awarded to students from Yeshiva Darche Eres.  Finalists were announced for the First “CIJE Tank” competition.  These students will go on to present their ideas and newly acquired entrepreneurial skills to CIJE “Sharks”, who may select products for future investment. Awards were presented to students in various categories for their achievement in their CIJE capstone projects.  In addition, school awards were presented to: First Place- Frisch, Bruriah, Second Place- Maayanot, Solomon Schechter LI, Third Place-YUHSG, SKA. First and Second Place Individual team awards in the areas of Innovations in Assistive Technology, Safety, Healthcare, and Consumer Products were presented to HAFTR, Hillel Yeshiva, Tichon Meir Moshe, Reenas Bais Yaakov, Kushner, Golda Och, Solomon Schechter LI, and Yeshiva Darchei Torah. One of the event judges, Yonah Wolf, Team Lead-Risk Software Development, Graham Capital Management, commented, “I am honored to have judged some of the CIJE-Tech projects.  I was impressed not just by the very high level of the breadth and scope of the students’ knowledge and innovation, but also by the breadth and scope of their affiliation.  Where else could you get over a thousand kids from schools as diverse as Bais Yaakov and Schechter showing off their projects in one very large room?  Amazing!!” In addition, Tikva Wiener, head of the I.D.E.A. School, hosted the Maker Exposition throughout the day, with many activities for middle school students and families as well as virtual reality activities for kids to try.

Being successful at CIJE Innovation Day requires a strong work ethic, curiosity, dedication, and a passion for STEM. Guidance throughout the school year comes from teachers and CIJE mentors, whose knowledge and commitment to the program encourage their students to perform their best and actively engage in this exciting experience at CIJE Innovation Day.  Following the presentation of awards, Judy Lebovits, CIJE Vice President, expressed her pride in what each of the students had accomplished and achieved as a result of their CIJE-Tech courses; “These students have become problem solvers, creative thinkers, innovators, and self-reliant.  THEY ARE THE FUTURE!!”