Sep 25, 2023
Thirteen Area Jewish Day Schools Now Participating in Israeli Robotics Program
What began as a program where third-grade educators from three Miami Jewish day schools received robotics training and mentoring from Science Center professionals in Miami’s partnership city of Yerucham, Israel, has flourished into an annual activity involving 13 local Jewish day schools for the 2023-2024 year.
The program began in 2017 with the Miami-Yerucham Partnership developing a robotics curriculum for the educators’ classrooms in which students would complete space mission challenges using Lego EV3 and Space Challenge sets. The initiative included a year-end Robotics Competition where teens from the Yerucham Robotics team came to Miami and worked with the schools’ students prior to and during the competition. Since that launch, the robotics training has become a yearly tradition organized by Federation subsidiary the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), with coaches training educators, who then train their students. CAJE still holds the robotics tournament annually with all the participating schools.
Teachers from 13 schools recently gathered for training that featured a brand-new “Israel: Land of Innovation” theme geared toward students in grades 3-5 who are being introduced to robotics for the first time.
“The excitement was through the roof,” said local coach and trainer Ilana Traub, one of the first educators to participate in the program. “[The curriculum] gives our new and younger students the opportunity to learn about robotics, coding and problem-solving while fostering their connection to Israel. Being able to train these dedicated teachers and seeing them work together made me even more enthusiastic about the Robotics Program and that much more eager to start.”
“This was my first time doing robotics,” said Halley Bohm, Lower School teacher at Innovative School of Temple Beth Sholom, one of the newest schools to participate. “The idea seemed overwhelming at the beginning, but Ilana is an amazing support! Working collaboratively with teachers from other schools, building the robotics missions and challenges, and problem-solving as a group gave me the confidence I needed to bring this back to my school. I am so excited to get started.”
For more information on CAJE’s South Florida Jewish Day School Robotics Program, please contact Audrey Maman Bensoussan at [email protected] or 305.576.4030, ext 141.