SANTA MONICA, CA—May 24, 2018—Student teams from the Texas Torah Institute and Yeshiva University of Los Angeles (YULA) Girls High School were announced the winners of the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) West Region Young Engineers Conference. The schools earned the opportunity to represent the United States at the 2019 International Physics Tournament at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
The students were selected from about 180 young engineers who showcased their new devices, sensors, and robotic innovations at Edmunds ‘EdQuarters’ in Santa Monica on May 6. The event was part of a nationwide network of CIJE conferences that also took place in Florida, Chicago, and New York, where thousands of students participated.
Teams from 13 Jewish day schools in California, Texas, and Washington participated in the West Region conference, which marked the culmination of CIJE’s High School Engineering Program. As part of the program, students studied electronics, coding, and digital fabrication. They then spent several months designing, building, and testing their devices. During the event, judges from Silicon Beach awarded prizes to projects that showed high levels of innovation and engineering, as well as presentation skills and teamwork.
The Texas Torah Institute from Dallas, TX, received the grand prize for “Combating Infant Death,” a project that aims to save the lives of children left in hot cars. YULA Girls High School won the social impact award for “Lockaholic,” which seeks to prevent drunk driving.
“The students dedicated their projects to saving lives using innovative technology,” said Jane Willoughby, PhD, Vice President and Director of Education, Program Research, and Development at CIJE. “It is fitting that these schools will now have the opportunity to participate in an international competition at the Weizmann Institute, an institution dedicated to improving lives worldwide and nurturing the next generation of pioneering scientists.”
The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute will provide airfare for three students and a chaperone from each school to compete in the 24th annual Shalheveth Freier International Physics Tournament, sponsored by Weizmann’s Davidson Institute of Science Education. Dedicated to promoting science literacy in Israel and throughout the world, the Davidson Institute offers a wide array of programming for students, teachers, and the general public. The tournament challenges high school teams to design and build impenetrable safes, using basic physics principles. Each spring, teams from North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East travel to the Weizmann Institute campus in Rehovot, Israel, where they compete to crack one another’s safes against the clock. Participants test their physics skills in a fun, practical way, experience Israel’s cutting-edge science and technology sector, and meet peers from across the globe.