The “From the Desk Of” series is my regular email to
the Valley Torah High School community.
It all starts with an idea. That has been the driving force of my principalship since I started in 2014. Innovation and creativity are an integral part of my vision for education at Valley Torah, mainly because it has become more of a necessity for our graduates than in any previous generation. It is for this reason I have spent the last two years working with our administration, colleagues and other experts in the field of educational innovation to design something truly special for our students. Yesterday, the first day of school, that something special was introduced to the students.
This summer I spent countless hours with an amazing designer (Shayna Mordue), some dedicated students and truly giving parents completing the first phase of the Valley Torah I.D.E.A. (Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship and Arts) Lab. This is a space dedicated to designing and creating through the use of technology such as 3D printers and laser cutters. Students will also learn programming and engineering with top of the line computers and CNC machines. Filming and producing will occur through video editing stations, green screen studies and high quality film equipment. And all of this is just the beginning. The space itself is more than just a room with technology. It is a unique space that is meant to spark creativity and allow students to easily work in collaborative teams. As one parent who walked in there the first day of school said, “it looks like a start up.” I could not have described it better myself.
I am grateful to the students who worked so hard with me this summer and for those families who supported the renovation of the space. I am also grateful that we are a founding school of the I.D.E.A. Schools Network which is an organization focused on bringing more creativity and innovation to Jewish education and where the lab name came from.
We will now be moving into a campaign to raise the funds needed to fill the space with the necessary technology, tools and equipment. However, the space is already being used by Rabbi Striks who integrates technology into his classes, myself and Mr. Schaefer who are teaching two Sci-Tech classes focused on innovation and design and all our technology clubs. The lab is also a resource for all our staff and students who are engaged in project-based learning across the curriculum.
Have a Wonderful Shabbos!
Dr. Eliezer Jones
Enjoy this montage of the transformation (click on video):
If you are interested in helping fund this project please click here and make a difference in how our students are prepared for their future.
Thank you to our current supporters:
Ben Andron and Michelle Andron
Jacob and Esther Blaich
David Coronel and Chani Coronel
Dr. Eliezer and Cori Jones
Ira and Amy Leibowitz
Ronson and Elka Freylicher Moses
Michael and Sheryl Rosenberg
Dr. Arnold and Atara Ross
Dr. Samuel and Rivka Ross
Rabbi Ari and Atara Segal
Dr. Jason and Esther Sloves
Rabbi Avrohom and Peshy Stulberger
Dr. Uri Zisblatt and Efrat Zisblatt
Thank you to all the students who helped this summer:
Yoni Zisblatt (additional thanks to Yoni who was the official I.D.E.A. Lab summer intern and was a huge help in designing and putting the lab together)