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Science Beyond the Curriculum at Ma’ayanot

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With employment statistics indicating that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) job growth has outpaced all others in the last decade, it is imperative for schools to provide experiences that prepare students for STEM-based employment opportunities in our technologically driven job market. Ma’ayanot students recently participated in two events that were intended to do just that.

On Sunday, March 23rd, after weeks of preparation, 13 Ma’ayanot students competed in the annual Jewish Education Project-Lander College Yeshiva Science Olympiad. Teams of Ma’ayanot students competed in 12 events, ranging from knowledge quizzes to project demonstrations to lab activities, and four teams medaled in four of the events.

Goldi Weiser (’14) and Eliana Krim (’15) took first place in the Chemistry Lab competition, which required them to complete tasks and answer questions involving the topics of equilibrium and chemical reactions/stoichiometry. Rachel Nordlicht (’15) and Goldi Weiser (’14) took second place in the Technical Problem Solving competition where they were required gather and process data to solve problems related to electrochemistry and thermodynamics. Emma Klahr (’16) and T’chaylet Handel (’15) took third place in the Entomology competition in which they were required to identify insects by order and family, answer questions about insects, and use or construct a dichotomous key. Finally, Rachel Klar (’14) and Adina Cohen (’14) took fourth place in the Chemistry of Food competition during which they answered questions on the chemistry of food and built a simple calorimeter to determine the energy content of a solid food specimen.

Mr. Noam Weinberger, faculty advisor to the Science Olympiad team, commented that “it was impressive to see our students gain mastery over complex scientific material and to explore topics that may not appear in the traditional high school science curriculum.”

On March 25th, Mr. Weinberger’s tenth grade Science Research class, which utilizes the CIJE-Tech High School Engineering Curriculum, visited Google’s New York City offices to meet and interact with engineers in their work environment. The trip was arranged by CIJE (Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education) and included a tour of the Google facility, a presentation by a Google engineer about Google crisis response, and a question and answer session with Orthodox female Google employees. The panel session was particularly interesting to the Ma’ayanot students because, in addition to encouraging them to consider careers in hi-tech fields, the panelists shared what it is like being an Orthodox working mother in the hi-tech industry.

For more information about Ma’ayanot’s science curriculum, visit the Ma’ayanot website at www.maayanot.org. For more information about the CIJE-Tech High School Engineering Curriculum, visit the CIJE website at www.thecije.org.