Jewish Day School challenge winners

Student-Built Machines Tell Passover Story (Inspired by Technion Rube Goldberg Video)

Four teams from schools around the world took high honors in the Technion Jewish Day School Challenge, created jointly by RAVSAK and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Their mission: to build a Rube Goldberg machine in the spirit of Pesach (and inspired by the intricate 2015 Technion Rube Goldberg machine). For the uninitiated, a Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption or device that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a complicated fashion, generally including a chain reaction.

“The Technion is thrilled to have launched this new initiative together with RAVSAK,” said Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie. “In an ever-changing world we need to find new and relevant ways to connect younger generations of the Jewish people with Israel. What better way to do so than a thought-provoking, fun competition that has a strong STEM education focus? Congratulations to all who participated. I hope to see you all at the Technion – as students – in a few years,” he concluded.

“In partnership with Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, we were able to create an amazing new opportunity for students to blend their commitments to Jewish learning with the sciences, foster a connection to post-secondary education, and prompt them to apply their knowledge of Pesach traditions in a completely innovative way,” said Dr. Marc N. Kramer, RAVSAK’s Co-Executive Director.

More than 600 students from 41 Jewish day schools – located in Europe, North America, Australia, and Africa – participated in the Challenge. The judges marveled at the incredible entries received from around the world, noting with pride and appreciation the amount of time, energy and thought the students put into their creations.

Students followed a rigorous rubric, which called for the machines to ultimately reveal a Seder plate. In the weeks leading up to the Challenge deadline, students tinkered away, and got insider tips from world-renowned Technion Mechanical Engineering Professor Alon Wolf and other Technion faculty.

“I am delighted to see the Technion’s role in inspiring all of the participants to do such great work,” said Prof. Yoram Halevi, Dean of the Technion Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. “You have inspired us, as well, and we hope to see you grow and succeed in your science paths.”

In the closely contested High School category, first place went to the team from Abraham Joshua Heschel High School, in New York CityThe judges cited their use of successful energy transfer elements and high creativity level as main reasons for their selection.  Second place went to The Weber School in Atlanta, whose entry showed a true understanding for the mechanics involved to create a visually stunning display.

There was a tie for first place in the Middle School category. The entry from the 7th grade team from Bialik College, in Melbourne, Australiawas well-thought out, with many different types of energy transfers – some of which were very unusual for Rube Goldberg machinesThe submission of the 6th grade team from Scheck Hillel Community School (North Miami Beach, Florida) was lauded for its creativity, and for energy transfer aspects that were executed properly and efficiently.
Photos/Videos: Videos of the winning Technion Challenge machines can be viewed on the Technion YouTube channel and you can follow all the conversations across social media via #TechnionChallenge.

About the Technion Faculty of Mechanical Engineering:
The bachelor’s degree program in the Technion Faculty of Mechanical Engineering is taught entirely in English. The program provides students with a strong base in the engineering sciences alongside project-based laboratory and design experiences, to develop their independence, creativity and leadership in an era of incredibly rapid technological change. For more information, visit 
Technion International or email us at

RAVSAK strengthens and sustains the Jewish life, leadership, and learning of community day schools. With more than 135 member schools, each bringing a unique set of professionals and board members, our network harnesses the collective wisdom of our peers to offer tremendous opportunities for collective learning and action.  We provide each school with much-needed material and intellectual resources, dynamic programs for students and administrators alike, and learning opportunities.

About the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology:
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel’s renown as the world’s “Start-Up Nation.” Its three Nobel Prize winners exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, computer science, water conservation and nanotechnology. The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute is a vital component of Cornell Tech, and a model for graduate applied science education that is expected to transform New York City’s economy.


For additional information: Gil Lainer – 058-6882208, Doron Shaham – 050-3109088