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Engineering and Entrepreneurship

Engineering and Entrepreneurship (E2) is a multi-year engineering design, innovation, entrepreneurship and management course in the High School at Solomon Schechter School of Westchester.

The first year (ninth grade) is a preparatory class (Ulpan) in which students immerse themselves in electrical engineering, coding, physical computing, and fabrication using materials such as wood, plastic, and metal. Concurrently, students develop collaboration and design-thinking skills through multiple team-design challenges and subsequent discussions. This first year provides students with the basic tools and skills necessary to design and build the product prototypes they will conceive and develop in the second (tenth grade) and third (eleventh grade) years of the course.

In the second and third years of E2, students form virtual companies consisting of three- or four-member teams. Each team develops a product that includes coding and electronic elements and is tangibly fabricated. Their year-end team deliverables include: a product prototype fabricated using the technological and mechanical tools in our MakerSpace; appropriate product branding and logos; a business plan; a team investor’s presentation (pitch-deck); and a product commercial or Crowdfunding video. Three or four times during the year, companies formally present their investor pitch-decks to the class and panels of mock venture capitalists (mVCs).

As a capstone to the four-year experience, twelfth-grade E2 students host a Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) Makeathon. Students utilize the skills they have developed in design, engineering, product fabrication, collaboration, and creativity to improve the lives of local individuals with disabilities in a very concrete way. Each team of four students partners with a person with disabilities - a "need-knower," seeks to understand a challenge that person faces in conducting daily life, and works together with the need-knower to design and fabricate a new product that will be useful in overcoming this challenge.

These words by Rabbi Yishmael, which reflect the essence of our mission, are found in Pirkei Avot. They advise us to lead lives filled with learning, teaching, preservation of our heritage, and social action.

TO LEARN AND TO TEACH, TO OBSERVE AND TO ACT
SOLOMON SCHECHTER
SCHOOL OF WESTCHESTER
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LOWER SCHOOL (K-5)
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