Rambam Innovation Award
The Rambam Innovation Award is a joint initiative between the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) and American Friends of Rambam Medical Center. During the annual CIJE Innovation Day, a Jewish high school competition in the New York tri-state area, students were challenged to create a project that would correlate to Rambam’s work in emergency preparedness and response to disasters, whether natural or man-made, including mass casualty situations.
The winning team was from the Frisch School of New Jersey with the engineering project “Illuminate + Evacuate” to create an escape route system that could be used in the evacuation of large buildings. The system locates the exact location of a fire, develops the safest route out of the building and illuminates that exit path via LED lighting. The system detects whether any would-be nearest exits are blocked or adjacent to a fire, eliminating the risk that an individual could encounter a dangerous dead end. Winning team members included Zachary Gold, Manny Nagel and Caroline Waxman (as seen in the above picture).
Frisch’s second-place submission, “The Key to Safety” by Shifra Dimbert, Rachel Gelb and Ayelet Glaser, coded an automatic attendance recording system that uses chip technology on student ID cards to record the location of every student within a school building. The system is designed to reduce chaos in cases of a school shooting or other disasters, when first responders usually don’t know which students are accounted for, or where they are. In the “ Key to Safety” system, students not only swipe their cards upon entering the school building, they also swipe their cards upon entry to each classroom over the course of the day. These locations are then inputted into an app, which can be referenced by police and/or faculty in case of an emergency.
Coding both systems presented tricky engineering challenges. Glaser noted that her team’s code for “The Key to Safety” had never been done before, with Dimbert adding that people have used different sensors alone, rather than in conjunction with each other). Gelb said it was particularly difficult to figure out how to recognize every different student card. Their teacher and mentor, Frisch Engineering Program Director Mrs. Rifkie Silverman guided them as they researched related codes and explained new knowledge by way of concepts they already knew.
“Illuminate + Evacuate” also encountered challenges along the way. “The way that LED strips work, it’s not meant to be coded in multiple groups, and we needed 21 different groups,” said Nagel. “We spent a lot of time building the model, and when we plugged it in and saw it actually work, that was very rewarding.”
Aside from the Rambam entries, the Frisch Engineering Team brought numerous projects to CIJE that have the potential to improve the lives of people around the world.