It’s been a long productive fall in the engineering lab and, as the days get short and darker much earlier, over 120 students light up our lab each day with their creativity and innovation. Freshman learned how to design and build basic electronic circuits, and it was empowering for them to realize their potential to create functional devices. Students began their journey into programming with the introduction of the Arduino micro controller and, for Chanukah, all freshman teams created an Arduino-controlled, musical light up Chanukiah to adorn our lab windows. Students worked with LEDs, speakers, note frequencies and the Arduino Tone function to play a tune and produce a light sequence. Students were fascinated to discover that by vibrating a speaker at different frequencies, they could make music! Our teams have moved on to using both analog and digital sensors to control analog and digital output.
Returning sophomore engineering students dove right in and used their recently-acquired skills to design and build autonomous robotic cars that navigate the room. Teams used a variety of sensors, rf transmitters and remote control methods. They were thrilled to put their programming and circuit design skills to the test! Students also gave class presentations, as a springboard for upcoming project ideas, on trends in biomedical engineering development and how the field has changed the way we either diagnose or treat disease. For Chanukah, our sophomores were introduced to our new 3D printer, and student teams designed a Chanukah/Engineering decoration for our lab window using 3D CAD software. Currently, students are learning to use operational amplifiers as comparators and amplifiers so they can incorporate amplification of small signals from biological sensors into their final projects. In addition, students have been sharing their enthusiasm with the many prospective eighth-grade students who visit Frisch and are interested in learning more about our engineering program.
Seniors in the Technology and Halacha elective spent the semester learning Hilchot Shabbat including the laws of Boneh, Gerama and Meniat Hamina with Rabbi Weinberger and explored the various halachic implications and how they manifest in modern life. Rav Binyamin Zimmerman from the Zomet Institute in Israel visited and shared some of the Institute’s current research, innovations and discussions that will lead to high-tech developments. In this elective, technological advancement is viewed from a religious perspective of partnering with Hashem. Students gave presentations on the halachic and technological discussions behind the Shabbat elevator. They are currently working on proposals for final project ideas that incorporate what they’ve learned. Students enrolled in the Jerusalem Science Competition have been learning the physics of optics and light and how both are viewed in the Gemarah and how they relates to Jewish life.
Rifkie Silverman, our department chair, was invited by UJA to pilot a technology trip to Israel for local high school STEM teachers interested in partnering with universities in Israel. In addition, she will be on the presenting at the 2016 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference this summer.
Stay tuned for exciting student generated projects coming this spring and a new robotics club. Follow us on Instagram @frischengineering.