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Yerucham Robotics Team Takes Top Honors at International Competition

Thanks to the enthusiasm of a few high school students, the entire southern Israeli town of Yerucham, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s partnership city in Israel has become crazy about robotics. And recently, the Yerucham High School Robotics Team, also known as the Y-Team, won the Judge’s Award at the 2013 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition in St. Louis.

The Y-Team of Yerucham

The group, made up of 18 high school students from three different schools in Miami’s partner city of Yerucham, Israel, previously won the Regional Chairman’s Award for their work in the FIRST Israel Regional Competition. The Chairman’s Award is the FIRST competition’s most prestigious honor, awarded to the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.

Click here to watch a video showing off the team’s winning robot.

The Y-Team helped start a 12-year robotics program in Yerucham. Kids can join a junior robotics team as early as the age of 6, with older students mentoring the younger children. Altogether, there are 25 robotics teams throughout Yerucham with more than 300 students participating, which means that 1 in 4 kids in Yerucham is learning about robotics and engineering.

“The town is crazy about robotics,” Yerucham Mayor Michael Biton said in a video created by the Y-Team touting their program. Click here to watch the video.

Following the St. Louis competition, the Y-Team visited Miami where they joined up with other teens from the community for Mitzvah Miami, a day of service helping to beautify Morningside Elementary School.

The Y-Team participated in Mitzvah Miami, an international day of service, during their stop in South Florida.

The next day, the team visited Coral Park High School’s engineering and science labs. The Yerucham students had the opportunity to meet the Miami school’s robotics team that they had been communicating with via Skype, sharing ideas and strategies prior to the competition.

The American and Israeli robotics teams toured FIU’s School of Engineering and saw the Wall of Wind, the largest and most powerful university research facility of its kind, capable of simulating a Category 5 hurricane.

The Y-Team and students from Coral Park tour FIU's School of Engineering and the Wall of Wind

Later in the week, the group visited the Michael-Ann Russell JCC, Scheck Hillel Community School and Lehrman Community Day School, meeting with students and sharing information about their team. As a result, there is interest in establishing a robotics team at Scheck Hillel and having a connection with the team in Yerucham. Friendships were developed and a greater understanding of the two communities was created.

The Y-Team visits Lehrman Day School

The Y-Team also visited the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, a Committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, and met with a Holocaust survivor.

The Y-Team tours the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, a Committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

For more information about the Y-Team, like their Facebook page, and for more information about the Miami-Yerucham partnership, visit them on Facebook or click here or contact Dahlia Bendavid, Director of Federation's Israel and Overseas Department, at 786.866.8445 or email dbendavid@gmjf.org.

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