On Sunday, May 19, Shevach High School’s STEM class presented their engineering projects at CIJE Innovation Day. This exciting interschool competition at Bell Works in New Jersey included over 1400 students from 45 different Jewish schools from across the United States. After setting up their projects, students met with the judges and explained the technology and processes that they used to build their products.

The 2019 Shevach STEM students, Esty Altman, Neshama Fedowitz, Rivka Finkel, Hadassah Gottesman, Dina Kiffel, Tamar Mayer, Nechama Ribowsky, Neira Rosenbaum, and Leah Scheiner, worked in three teams to develop an improved baby gate, shoes that can assist the blind in navigating city streets, and a device called “The Parker Pointer” for automobiles. All three projects incorporated coding and sensor technology. Since there were close to 480 projects that were submitted, and approximately 24 awards that were presented, Shevach was thrilled that “The Parker Pointer” won one of those awards: third place in The Yeshiva University-sponsored Student Choice Award category.

Guidance throughout the school year came from Mrs. Paula Berger, whose knowledge and commitment to the program encouraged her students in the STEM class to perform their best and actively engage in the CIJE Innovation Day experience. The Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) is a non-profit organization providing STEM resources to schools that expose students to multiple STEM problem-solving perspectives and hands-on technical skills that scientists and engineers would use toward solving real-world problems.

Here’s what some of the Shevach STEM students had to say about their experience:

“I was so excited to be part of something so big!”

“The course was phenomenal… I never imagined I could invent something or program something… Now there is no end to what I can accomplish if I pour my mind and hard work into it.”

“I loved that it was a hands-on course.”

“It was so cool to see what teenagers were able to come up with!”

“It felt so good to be the innovator… I hadn’t realized how much I had absorbed until my project was complete. It was an amazing feeling.”

“I got to meet different people who took the same course as me, even though they live hours away.”

“I feel so capable, now that I know how to make circuits and how to code, [and] I learned how to get past issues we ran into while working on the project.”

“This course taught me patience, team building, and appreciation for science and computers.”

Congratulations to all of the Shevach STEM students, Mrs. Paula Berger, and Shevach Associate Principal Mrs. Nechama Mirsky for an outstanding year of achievement in the field of engineering!