Touro College’s Lander College for Men and the Jewish Education Project to Co-sponsor Yeshiva Science Olympiad on March 6

Date: February 15, 2011
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
212-463-0400 x5530
Barbara.franklin@touro.edu

LCM to Host Prestigious Event at Its Queens Campus.

New York, N.Y. – Touro College’s Lander College for Men (LCM) and The Jewish Education Project (formerly Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York) will co-sponsor the Yeshiva Science Olympiad on Sunday, March 6, 2011. LCM will also host the competition at its Queens campus in Kew Garden Hills, N.Y., marking the first time Touro has co-sponsored and hosted the event.

The Yeshiva Science Olympiad is part of a national Science Olympiad designed to assess high school students’ abilities in science, technology, and engineering in ways that are rarely tested in a classroom setting.

“It is vital to recognize and nurture young people who show unusual aptitude in the sciences,” said Dr. Moshe Sokol, dean of LCM. “We are both honored and excited about being a co-sponsor of such a significant event and we look forward to hosting these talented young men and women on our campus.”

LCM also sponsors the annual national Jacob Goldfinger Memorial Mathematics Contest and the Student Entrepreneur of the Year Competition, both designed for yeshiva high school students. “Through these competitions, LCM seeks to identify the most talented yeshiva high school students around the country in order to cultivate their ability and interest in mathematics, science, and business,” the dean said.

The Jewish Education Project is a not-for-profit organization that pioneers new approaches in Jewish education. Rabbi Dr. Martin Schloss, director of the Division of Day School Education of The Jewish Education Project, who has been a visiting professor at Touro College for many years, said that over the years, he has met with many of the students involved in the competition.

“I’ve been extremely impressed by the depth of their knowledge and skills,” Dr. Schloss said. “The Olympiad recognizes and rewards the best of our budding scientists who will undoubtedly, have a profound impact on our world of tomorrow. The future of our world lies in our classrooms of today.”

The 10 yeshiva schools competing in this year’s Yeshiva Science Olympiad are The Frisch School in Paramus, N.J.; Hebrew Academy of Long Beach-DRS Yeshiva High School of Boys in Woodmere, N.Y.; Ma'ayanot in Teaneck, N.J.; North Shore Hebrew Academy High School in Great Neck, N.Y.; Ramaz School in Manhattan; SAR High School in Riverdale; Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Hewlett Bay Park, N.Y.; Torah Academy of Bergen County in Teaneck, N.J.; Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School of Girls in Holliswood, N.Y.; and The Yeshivah of Flatbush.

Linda Padwa, director of both the Science Education Program at Stony Brook University and the Yeshiva Science Olympiad, said that the 12 events in this year’s Olympiad will address various aspects of biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, and applications of engineering and technology. Teams consisting of 15 students in grades 9 through 12 will be required to answer a series of questions as well as build projects in advance based upon specified engineering requirements, and then test them.

There is also a technical writing component called “Write It Do It.” In this section, Ms. Padwa explained, students pair up, with one person writing the specifications for an object and his or her partner building the object based on those specifications.

“One of central components of the Olympiad is that teamwork is a requirement for almost all of the events, as it is in most scientific careers today. The Science Olympiad encourages group learning by designing events that forge alliances,” Ms. Padwa said.

First, second, and third prize medals are awarded for each event. Overall trophies are given for teams that finish in first, second, and third place.

Dr. Schloss explained that a decade ago, observant Jewish students were not able to participate in the national Science Olympiad because it was traditionally scheduled on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. In order that observant Jewish students could take part in this event, the Yeshiva Science Olympiad was instituted by Judy Oppenheim, associate director of the Yeshiva and Day School Division, in 2002.

Information about the National Organization can be found at their web site, www.soinc.org, and information about the New York State Science Olympiad can be found at their web site, www.newyorkscioly.org. The Yeshiva Science Olympiad website can be found at www.regionalquizbowl.org/bje.

Lander College for Men/Beis Medrash L’Talmud, located in Queens, N.Y., is committed to the pursuit of excellence in Jewish and academic studies in a personalized environment. Established in the fall of 2000, the purpose of LCM is to provide a superior college education for students committed to serious Beis Medrash learning in an atmosphere of Torah.