Local School Updates


Boca high schoolers win international competition for second consecutive year

High schoolers from Boca Raton’s Katz Yeshiva High School brought home the win in an international contest to build the most clever Rube Goldberg machine for the second year in a row.

In addition to bragging rights, the win comes with a full scholarship for any team member who would like to attend the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

A Rube Goldberg machine is a wacky contraption that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task by setting off a comical chain reaction. The theme of this year’s contest was Israel’s 70th Anniversary.

“I was ecstatic,” said Katz Yeshiva freshman Max Frohlich upon learning that his team had won. “We worked diligently over a short period of time, right up until the deadline. It was an incredible experience, and we were utterly surprised to have won—as the competition was fierce.”

About 40 schools competed this year, almost double the number of teams that participated last year.

Teams hailed from Australia, Nigeria, Czech Republic, Spain, Korea, South Africa and South America.

A school in Vietnam tied for first with Katz Yeshiva.

In keeping with the 70th Anniversary theme, Katz Yeshiva’s Rube Goldberg winning machine told the story of Israel’s inventions, history and culture —using 47 different steps.

Making sure that an air-propelled pill (representing the Pillcam) collided with a marble, which caused a mousetrap to snap shut, closing a circuit that launched a homemade rocket simulating Israel’s Iron Dome, required coordination.

“We benefited by participating in the challenge last year. Our students used more electronics and our ideas were more clever than our winning entry last year,” said Dr. Yosef Wolf, who heads up Katz Yeshiva’s STEM department.

Katz Yeshiva seniors Michal Amar, who was on last year’s winning team, and Noah Bernten, who competed for two years running, are using the 2017 prize scholarships to attend the Technion in the fall.

“I can’t wait to study mechanical engineering at the Technion. It’s a great help to my family that I was granted a second year’s scholarship,” Bernten said.

Boca Raton Christian School student receives Gates Scholarship

Boca Raton Christian School senior and Delray resident Stephanie Casting was recently awarded the Gates Scholarship.

She is one of only 300 high school seniors nationwide who will receive this scholarship established by Bill and Melinda Gates. Stephanie has been a Boca Christian student since 3rd grade.

The Gates Scholarship covers college expenses for four years, including room, board, books, transportation, and personal expenses. Earlier this year Stephanie was accepted at Columbia University in New York, where she plans to study political science and human rights. The scholarship includes the Gates Summer Institute, a chance for all of the award winners to meet and prepare for their first year in college.

National Honor Society member wins national scholarship

Tasman Rosenfeld, a senior and member of the National Honor Society (NHS) at Grandview Preparatory School in Boca Raton, has been named one of 25 national finalists in the National Honor Society Scholarship program. Tasman was chosen from more than 11,000 applicants and will receive a $5,150 scholarship.

High school seniors who are members in good standing of an active National Honor Society chapter are able to apply for an NHS Scholarship. National finalists are selected on the basis of their leadership skills; participation in service organizations, clubs, and other student groups at school and in the community; and their academic record.

While at Grandview Preparatory School, Rosenfeld has served as the school’s IP Biology Teacher, participated in national science conferences and research, and co-founded SciTeens, an international platform connecting pre-career scientists, engineers and mathematicians with mentors and research opportunities. This fall he plans to attend Yale University to study Evolutionary Biology and Astrophysics.

FAU grad receives 2018 Sallie Mae scholarship

Tevin Ali thought he was participating in a final round of interviews for a scholarship from Sallie Mae.

Instead, he was surprised with a $20,000 scholarship from the 2018 Sallie Mae Bridging the Dream Graduate Scholarship.

“My journey through college and to graduate school has helped me find not just my educational and career pathway, but also my own personal mission,”Ali said. “This scholarship from Sallie Mae empowers me to continue my education and develop a platform to share my story in hopes of inspiring others.”

The scholarship will help Ali pursue his goal of leading a biotechnology company centered on genomics by way of a master’s degree in biotechnology enterprise and entrepreneurship at Johns Hopkins University.

His parents moved to Florida from Trinidad and Tobago to Florida to offer their children a life rooted in opportunity, made the tough decision to cut his first attempt at college short. After receiving extra support from friends and family he returned to school and graduated from Florida Atlantic University.

More than 3,400 nominations were submitted from current and aspiring graduate students who were asked to creatively describe their journey to graduate school, who or what influenced them to pursue an advanced degree, and what advice they would give themselves as college freshmen.