Mandel JDS Shines at Science Fair
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Current, Former Mandel JDS Students Shine at 63rd Annual NEOSEF Science Fair
A total of 12 Mandel JDS students competed at this year’s NEOSEF Science Fair, with each student placing overall in the tournament. The twelve students are comprised of ten current students and two alumni.
During the four-day event held at Cleveland State University, approximately 600 students from over 100 schools in the area set up their science fair displays, discussed their projects with over 330 judges, and competed for almost $40,000 in prizes. To be eligible for the NEOSEF competition, students had to compete in their own school’s Science Fair in the winter. Students presented their projects to a distinguished team of scientists and engineers who served as judges for the competition.
At the fair, students compete in nine categories which are subdivided by grade levels. NEOSEF awards one first place, and multiple second place, third place, and honorable mentions per subdivision.
Rylan Polster, seventh grader from Shaker Heights, received first place in the field of Behavioral Science, for his study on color contrast and visibility reaction time. As a prize, Polster received $100.
Also in seventh grade, Andy Solganik (Solon) and Bailey Pasternak (Shaker Heights) received second place awards for the studies on solar cells and acidity levels in coffee, respectively. As a prize, Solganik and Pasternak received $25 each.
Seventh graders Daniel Meller (University Hts) and Tamar Poreh (Solon), along with eighth graders Casey Posner (Orange) and Rachel Buchinsky (Solon) received 3rd place awards.
Receiving Honorable Mention at this year’s Science Fair were Yossi Berkowitz (Lyndhurst), Emily Dinner (Solon), and Elana Spiegel (Beachwood).
“Making it to Regional Science Fair is a feat in itself,” beamed Kim Favor, Middle School Department Head at Mandel JDS. “The fact that every one of our students placed, and that Rylan Polster received 1st place in the category of behavioral science is an unbelievable accomplishment. This is truly a testament to the hard work and dedication of these seventh and eighth grade students and their love of science.”
In addition, former Mandel JDS students (or, Agnon as it was known when they walked the halls) David Buchinsky (University) and Jessica Linden (Laurel) both placed third in the Health and Medicine category for tenth and eleventh grade.
“It’s a beautiful thing to see not only current students, but also those who have graduated, succeed in life past Mandel JDS,” said Leah Spector, Principal. “To see these young boys and girls grow up to be the brilliant, responsible, high-achieving adults we knew they would be is simply amazing.”
About Mandel Jewish Day School
Founded in 1969, Mandel JDS is Cleveland’s first Jewish day school accredited for educational excellence by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). The school also exceeds Ohio education standards for all core curricular subjects. Originally The Agnon School, in August 2015 the name changed to Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School, in appreciation of a $17,050,000 grant. While the name is new, blending superior general academics and Jewish studies remains central to the school’s mission, as does teaching to a broad spectrum of learners. Open to the entire Jewish community, Mandel JDS enrolls more than 350 students, 18 months – 8th grade, from diverse Jewish backgrounds.