Local schools participate in CIJE science competition



Three HAFTR High School students were awarded first prize at the CIJE Innovation Day, held recently at the Hilton Midtown. The award in innovation was given to sophomores David Lederer, Jordan Appel and Aidan Schechter, who worked on an early warning leak detection system. The fully working prototype was viewed as a sterling example of next-generation thinking. 

“David, Jordan and Aidan created a system tha--t would send a text message to a homeowner if there was a leak or a flood detected in their home. They used concepts that were taught in their engineering class to create this device,” said Science Department Chair Rita Sinensky. The students developed their project in the Scientific Technology course taught by Tom Liguori under the guidance of Director of STEM Innovation Mr. Benjamin Gross.

“We are very proud of all our students’ accomplishments in the STEM program, and we extend warmest congratulations to David, Jordan and Aidan on their innovative, award-winning project,” said Principal Naomi Lippman. “It is an honor and a joy to partner with CIJE in offering this unique learning experience to our students. We look forward with great anticipation to our students’ expanded opportunities for STEM innovation in our new state-of-the-art STEM lab next fall.”

The conference, created by CIJE President Jason Curry, welcomed over 3,000 students, parents and judges from more than 100 day schools to the Hilton on Sunday, May 6. HAFTR was represented by 70 students, who presented a total of 25 creative, exciting projects. CIJE has been leading the charge in STEM education in the Jewish day school community, with hundreds of schools now participating in their program across the country. 

“I was so impressed by the students’ problem-solving, innovation and entrepreneurial skills,” said CIJE Vice President Judy Lebovits. “IThe Leak Detection Project epitomizes what we as an organization are trying to accomplish — creating a new generation of students who will dynamically think in problem solving methodologies in order to help better our world.” 


Congratulations to the team of Mesivta Chaim Shlomo of Yeshiva Darchei Torah on its performance at the CIJE science competition. The Mesivta’s ninth and tenth graders took second prize in the Consumer Products category. 

The competition, which included 39 schools and over 1,200 students, took place at the New York Hilton. Only 12 schools took home awards, including Mesivta Chaim Shlomo.

The winning duo of Dan Yaakov Honig and Yisroel Rosenberg were recognized for their invention of a tablet designed primarily for students in underdeveloped countries. It has an especially user- friendly interface and its casing is made of a material, manufactured by Dan Yaakov on a 3D printer, which is extremely protective of the product, yet cheap enough to produce and remain affordable for the target population.

Special thanks to Dr. Don Engelberg, program coordinator and physics instructor at Mesivta Chaim Shlomo, for his leadership and guidance.


Shulamith High School ninth grader Basya Vishnepolsky won first prize in the national STEM trivia competition at the CIJE Innovation Conference, held at the New York Hilton Hotel.

The Shulamith delegation also included STEM students Noam Maman, Gabriella Grossman, Chaya Warren, and Sarah Antonelli. Under the leadership of their teacher, Ms. Tamar Herskowitz, the students presented three innovative solutions to everyday problems that they had spent months designing, engineering, and producing: a forward-thinking crib they named “The Nelly”, which is a must-have for all moms; an “EZ DRY” dish rack, designed to accelerate the drying process for dishes; and an Eco-Friendly Crusher (“EFC”), which crushes plastic bottles and aluminum cans for recycling purposes.

In addition to demonstrating their prototypes, the students also prepared tri-fold posters to explain the human needs they identified that their creations address, the methods they used to generate the idea for their product, the experimentation they undertook to develop and refine it, and the features of their solution that make it not only desirable, but also technologically feasible and economically viable.

The students also had the chance to meet fellow budding engineers. They broadened their engineering knowledge by interacting with students from other schools and seeing what inventive ideas they had come up with. As they walked around the fair, each had the opportunity to peer-review a student’s project from another school. 

The students also used their marketing skills to share with the judges the stories behind their projects in the form of inspirational business plans. The girls had an amazing experience and are already talking about what creative ideas they can come up with next.


Ninth and tenth grade engineering students at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls were victorious at this year’s CIJE engineering fair. With two new instructors and a brand new lab, SKA took thirrd place out of schools with 15 or fewer projects. 

More than 1300 students shared their original CIJE-Tech Stem capstone projects. The two year CIJE-Tech High School program provides a unique set of lessons and experiences culminating with projects designed and built by students.

With the guidance of engineering instructor Dorit Tannenbaum and engineering liaison Andres Pabon, the SKA pre-engineering program is sure to continue in their success as SKA helps mold the next generation of innovative and creative thinkers.