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    07/09/2004
  NASA SAYS BOYS TOWN JERUSALEM STUDENTS
ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD!
By: Rabbi Ronald L. Gray

Four BTJ High-Schoolers Receive Certificates for Participating in NASA’s 2004 NSIP Contest

Jerusalem, Israel -- NASA honored Boys Town Jerusalem students Aharon Chitman, Pesael Cohen, Raphael Ouzan, and Meron Sellem, who received certificates for participating in the high school Aerospace Technology Engineering Challenge hosted by NASA. The contest is part of the rigorous NASA Student Involvement Program (NSIP).

“NSIP is an important part of NASA’s efforts to inspire the next generation of explorers. We are pleased to recognize students whose achievements are focused on NASA’s missions of research, exploration, and discovery,” said Lynn Marra, NSIP Program Officer at NASA Headquarters. “We’re proud to honor their success as only NASA can.”

NASA’s NSIP program is a wonderful way to build positive student attitudes toward these disciplines, and to build an understanding of the relevance of these subjects to the boys’ future aspirations.”

Interest in the NASA program was generated a few months earlier when leading NASA scientist, Dr. Jacob Trombka, addressed Boys Town students about the Mars landing. Dr. Trombka has been with NASA for almost 40 years and is a member of the Astrochemistry Branch of the Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics and a Senior Goddard Fellow at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. While at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, he has worked on the development of X-ray and Gamma-Ray remote sensing spectrometers for planetary exploration mission.

Mr. Yossi Cohen, Principal of Boys Town Jerusalem, said he was very gratified that the boys received the certificates recognizing their enormous efforts. “These students have worked hard to excel in the challenging subjects of engineering, computers and science, and I am pleased for them,” Mr. Cohen explained. “We know mastery of engineering, computers and science is important to the future, which is why Boys Town Jerusalem strives to provide such an education. NASA’s NSIP program is a wonderful way to build positive student attitudes toward these disciplines, and to build an understanding of the relevance of these subjects to the boys’ future aspirations.”

The backgrounds of these four BTJ students are just a sampling of the diversity at Boys Town Jerusalem. Pesael is a junior who was born in the United States and loves to play chess. Meron’s parents are from Tunisia and Algeria, and this 10th grader’s extra-curricular passion is basketball. Raphael is a Naale student whose parents are still living in France, while Aharon’s family hails originally from Georgia in the former USSR.

“These students had to overcome incredible odds just to enter this contest,” continued Mr. Cohen. “And, considering their long school day consisting of three-part track of Judaic, academic and technology studies, the effort needed just to find the time to finish a research project up to NASA’s high standards is remarkable. Boys Town is extremely proud of these boys.”

“These students had to overcome incredible odds just to enter this contest,”

More than 3600 students worldwide submitted more than 1500 entries to this year’s competitions. Students engage in research that promotes critical-thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration skills.

NSIP is NASA’s international program that stimulates math, science, technology, and geography excellence through six competition categories designed for students in grades K-12. Teams of scientists, engineers, educators, journalists, and other professionals judge student entries.

Boys Town Jerusalem is one of Israel’s premier institutions for educating the country’s next generation of leaders in the fields of technology, commerce, education, the military and public service. Since its founding in 1948, BTJ has pursued its mission of turning young boys from limited backgrounds into young men with limitless futures. From Junior High through the College level, the three part curriculum at Boys Town – academic, technological and Torah – is designed to turn otherwise disadvantaged Israeli youth into productive citizens of tomorrow. The campus, located on 18 acres in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem, is a home-away-from-home for its student body of over 1,000 boys.

Florida Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem’s office is located at 5329 West Atlantic Avenue, Suite 205B, Delray Beach, FL 33484. Tel: (800) 738-6222/Fax: 561-496-4842. Website: http://www.boystownjerusalem.org; email: simfree@bellsouth.net

 
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