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Friday, January 18, 2013

YOFHS STEM Trip to Israel: Day 2

We had the most amazing day! After Shaharit and breakfast, we boarded the bus to visit Dr. Ed Mlavsky, one of Israel's first venture capitalists. He explained the whole process of start-ups, the concept of helping Israeli inventors to connect with American funding to help start many new companies. It was amazing to note just how many technologies were invented by Israelis - including flash drives, firewalls, the Pillcam and, most exciting for our students, PrimeSense.

Our next stop was an Outdoor Training Exercise. Working with 6 Israeli students, each of whom has been assigned to an elite unit in the IDF, our group completed many tasks to promote team building, leadership and endurance.
We ate lunch there and then were off to PrimeSense - to get a first hand look at the new Kinekt technology. What a fantastic story of the conception to reality of this technology, with the drama of presentation to Bill Gates, to the reality of seeing Microsoft buy out their competitors, our students could not get enough of being with him and questioned him until he begged them to let him go to his next meeting, FYI - you will be getting rid of your remotes, and waving your hand to watch TV, movies, play games and connect to the internet. It was a truly awesome to get this first-hand look and to be able to try out their prowess at full-body Fruit Ninja! Look for the invention later this year.

It was on to the Olympic Experience from there, where we were able to test our reflexes, strength and concentration in a variety of hi-tech ways. Especially moving was the history of Israeli Olympiads, which is full of triumph and unfortunately the tragedy of the murder of the athletes in Munich in 1972.

After dinner, Yossi Taguri, professional App designer, explained to the students with much humor about how mistakes can help you eventually succeed. He demonstrated is App , Pah - a voice activate game for the iPhone, and let us in on a new app that can bring unlimited phone and data service to customers for $10/month.

We are looking forward to our Friday trip to the Kotel, the Old City and Ir David, buying Shabbat Treats at Machane Yehuda and to meeting up with the Chessed mission for Shabbat at the Inbal in Jerusalem.

Stay tuned for our next installment!