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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

STEM Israel Trip 2016: Day 3

The 3rd day of the STEM Israel Trip started with our long-awaited trip to the Technion in Haifa. It was thrilling to be in the university that started all of the technology research and industry in Israel and which is now one of the greatest science institutes in the world.
We took part in a robotics building workshop and produced robots that moved like snakes. It was a pretty thrilling challenge to see which team built the "snake" that was the fastest. We always love competing against each other- and of course it's always in good fun.
After lunch we went for a VIP tour of the underground emergency hospital at Rambam Hospital. They showed us videos of projects that they were working on, like how to restart a heart by using light pulses instead of a pacemaker. They also showed us videos of projects they already completed, for example there is new technology to help stop the tremors in someone with Parkinson's. Insightec has developed an MRI helmet that sends 100 very focused ultrasound waves into the brain. It eliminates surgery and the harm it can do the brain. Then they took us underground to a parking lot that can change into a underground hospital in case of war. Underground, there was a closed off room that was for patients that need to be isolated, like if they had Ebola. After showing us the isolation room they showed us a portable tent that they can be taken to crisis sites to assist patients. The last thing they showed us was the surgical unit they use underground in case of a terrorist or other urgent situation. From this tour we realized that Israel is prepared to medically help its people in any situation that might occur.  ~Esther Hidary, Class of 2019
We then went in to the educational science playground at Madatech and had a great time experimenting with the different machines - especially the giant lever. There was lots of fun action! After the visiting the educational playground at Madatech, we went to a workshop in their STEM research labs with a member of Technion, where we learned how to use the software PicoBlock. We worked in pairs, and each pair was supplied with a robot and computer. We learned how to use the block features on PicoBlock to make the robot travel, stop, and reverse its direction. We also learned how to use "if/then statements," which are conditional statements that search for an input in order to give an output. 
Lastly, we learned how to program an LCD screen, or display screen. Using the block features, we generated numbers to appear on the screen to depicted the number of times the robot touched metal. At the end of the lesson, we saw Madatech's robot that acted on voice command. For example, it obeyed when told to stand, sit, and dance. The robot performed an entertaining dance of the Macarena for us, until it was put back to sleep. After a long and packed day, we finally headed back to the hotel to prepare our start-up pitches in preparation for tomorrow's visit to IDC! ~Lauren Zami, Class of 2019