Students at the Amit Strauss Technological high school in Kfar Batya, outside Raanana, recently held a major science fair, with hundreds of visitors from the town. Among the projects – a life-size simulation of the spacecraft the SpaceIL organization plans to send up into space next year.
The SpaceIL craft, being built as Israel's entry into an international competition, is about the size of a dishwasher, measuring 38 inches by 28 inches. Fully loaded, the craft will weigh about 300 pounds. The craft built for the science fair by ninth grade twins Gur and Kfir Meir did not weigh that much, as they did not included the sophisticated navigation and camera equipment being developed for the actual craft – but it did conform to the external design and avionics of the SpaceIL craft, evidencing a propensity for design and engineering by the two youths.
Other space-oriented projects included models of a space station that would be powered by solar energy and centrifugal power. The station would be self-sustaining, allowing humans to live aboard indefinitely.
Other projects sought to “remake” existing products and technologies, using engineering, chemical, and nanotechnology-based principles to build new and improved versions of things like the “Archimedes' Screw,” a machine dating back to pre-Roman times that was historically used for transferring water from a low-lying body of water into irrigation ditches. Other projects developed solutions to help the disabled navigate their environment more successfully.
Rabbi Erab Strauss, principal of the school, expressed satisfaction at the event. “The students showed their capabilities and ability to think outside the box. Even the younger children here are able to create interesting solutions. Our aim is to enable the development of a generation that, equipped with the values we teach them, are able to lead the worlds of technology, industry, and science.”