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Woodbridge students participate in Young Engineers Conference

LAWRENCE, N.Y. – Connecticut young engineers displayed their new devices, sensors and robotic innovations at the largest CIJE Young Engineers Conference held at the Hebrew Academy of Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR) in Lawrence, New York last Wednesday.

Students from the Jewish High School of Connecticut located in Woodbridge were among ninth and tenth grade participants from 19 Tri-State area schools, who packed the HAFTR middle school gym to exhibit and demonstrate hundreds of capstone engineering projects.

Members of the SMART Feeder Team (l to r) senior Natalie May of New Haven, junior Eli Udler and sophomore Gregory Feldman both of Stamford, designed a squirrel resistant bird feeder based on a design that sensed the weight of the animal.

Members of the SMART Feeder Team (l to r) senior Natalie May of New Haven, junior Eli Udler and sophomore Gregory Feldman both of Stamford, designed a squirrel resistant bird feeder based on a design that sensed the weight of the animal.

“I was overwhelmed by the level of complexity, thought and work that went into these innovations using engineering principles they learned during the CIJE-Tech High School Engineering Program,” said Judy Lebovits, vice president and director of the program who spoke to the audience. “The teachers and CIJE engineering mentors that visit every class should be proud of how well their project-based education approach is working.”

The CIJE-Tech High School Engineering Program (CIJE-Tech) is a national, two-year course in scientific and biomedical engineering for high school students. CIJE-Tech exposes high school students to a diverse range of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers. A discovery-based STEM education program, developed in collaboration with Israel Sci-Tech, CIJE-Tech provides teacher training, and on-going teacher mentoring as well as engineering laboratory equipment and materials.

Following their group project presentations to visitors and fellow students, Google Technical Lead/Manager, Dr. Joel Wein Ph.D, addressed the entire group about their skills and future engineering opportunities.

“This was an extremely impressive event with projects that demonstrated a great grasp of engineering concepts and skills way beyond the abilities of high school students,” said Wein. “At Google and nationwide, we need more great engineers, and we need to build a really great pipeline from K-12 and up. The CIJE-Tech Program is focused on ensuring that Yeshiva and Jewish day school children will have the opportunity to be a vital part of that process, and it is wonderful to see.”

“Kids today are lacking STEM skills, which is precisely where the careers are going to be in the future,” said Lebovits. “Our programs are unique to the U.S. and in day schools with a focus on creating a future generation of men and women who can be successful in STEM academically and professionally in the future.”

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