14 students place in top three

Atlanta Jewish Academy -Tech fair

Atlanta Jewish Academy participants in the state Educational Technology Fair included (from left) Paulina Lebowitz, Jared Amdur, medal winner Ilan Benamram, Sharon Hatami and Lillian Zaidel.

Fourteen students who qualified through the North Atlanta Jewish Students’ Technology Fair won awards at the state Educational Technology Fair in Macon on March 7.

The biggest winner may have been Weber School senior Rourke Rabinowitz, who took third place in the individual programming challenge for 11th- and 12th-graders but also won the Lou Dewberry Scholarship.

Three students won their categories at the state competition: Atlanta Jewish Academy 10th-grader Dan Jutan for mobile apps design among ninth- and 10th-graders; Druid Hills High School’s Yoni Bachar for case modification among ninth- and 10th-graders; and Davis Academy third-grader Avi Frank for hardware while competing against seventh- and eighth-graders, the youngest group for that category.

AJA’s Jutan was a double ribbon winner at the competition. He backed up his mobile apps win by finishing second in the individual programming challenge for his age group.

Sue Loubser, AJA’s technology director, said Jutan’s win for mobile apps was more impressive because he had to modify his regional-winning app in three days before the state competition after discovering that Facebook had changed its interface.

“He’s that good,” Loubser said.

AJA Tech Fair Dan Jutan

Atlanta Jewish Academy’s Dan Jutan is the only multiple state tech medalist from the Atlanta-area day schools.

“I was really excited to win for both my projects,” Dan said. “That last-minute interface problem was a surprise, but it made the competition all the more challenging, and I’m glad that the judges liked my work.”

The annual Georgia Educational Technology Fair is the highest level of student technology competition in the state and involves more than 750 projects from more than 1,000 students. The Jewish day schools hold a Sunday regional each year to avoid conflicting with Shabbat, then qualifying students send recorded presentations to the state competition, which is on a Saturday.

The Epstein School and Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael joined AJA, Davis and Weber in bringing state ribbons home from Macon.

Davis had the most success among the day schools with five students winning four ribbons. Besides Avi Frank, all the ribbons came from the third- and fourth-grade group: Carson Wolff, third in the technology literacy challenge; Leah Moradi, third in digital video production; and the team of Jordan Frank and Harrison Green, third in project programming.

Epstein eighth-grader Isabel Berlin, who won her sixth consecutive regional in multimedia applications this year, finished third at the state level. Epstein’s Nolan Goldklang came in second in the technology literacy challenge among fifth- and sixth-graders.

For Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael, the team of Moshe Bari and Aharon Tzvi Eidex finished second among ninth- and 10th-graders for Web 2.0 Internet applications.

Weber’s Amanda Kraun finished third in digital photography among ninth- and 10th-graders.

Fourth-grader Ilan Benamram claimed AJA’s third ribbon by finishing second in 3D modeling among third- and fourth-graders.

“Ilan’s project was incredibly intricate,” Loubser said. “It was easy to see that he had worked on it for months with great attention to detail.”

Ilan said he was inspired by parkour videos online to build a model of a parkour course in Mindcraft. He also wrote a story to go with the model.

“I imagined a criminal had escaped from prison, and he had to be chased by a detective and stopped,” Ilan said. “I designed obstacles for them to jump over and go around.”