On Wednesday, March 14, three Middle School teams competed in the 2nd Annual Cadena Initiative Social Entrepreneurship Competition, at Beth Torah Benny Rock Campus, against teams from other local Jewish Day Schools. Their objective was to come up with an idea that could be used before, during, or after a natural disaster in an underprivileged community. Students researched different disasters and areas they are likely to occur. With the guidance of Middle School Science Teacher, Mr. Gonzalez, we had three teams selected by the Cadena Foundation representatives to compete last night: Netanel Bixon, Owen Ebner, Spencer Lehmann; Shiraz Bachar, Chana Lieberman; Akiva Itzkowitz and Jonathan Acevedo.
Our 8th graders Akiva Itzkowitz and Jonathan Acevedo won first place in the competition! They created "The Innovation Land Pole" which is a solar powered warning system for an oncoming mudslide. As first place winners for South Florida, they will now move on to the international competition in Mexico City in May. If their idea wins, Cadena will invest in their concept, bring it to life, and install it in the communities around the world that would benefit from the warning system to help save lives.
Honorable mentions went to Middle Schoolers: Spencer Lehmann, Owen Ebner and Netanel Bixon (Grade 7), and Shiraz Bachar and Chana Lieberman (Grade 8).
"It is terrific to see how a students imagination can go from a simple rough idea and be polished into something amazing. Our kids are capable of wonderful things they might not even be aware of," said Middle School Science Teacher Mr. Gonzalez. "That is where we as teachers, parents administrators and community play a huge role. We guide them into becoming more than they even think they can be. From that point, we hope we opened the doors for them to keep thriving. I suppose energy drinks are not the only things that 'give you wings' teachers do also."
We are so proud of all the students and Mr. Gonzalez for their hard work and dedication!
Here is more information about the Cadena Initiative:
The Cadena Initiative is a humanitarian non-profit organization committed to providing aid, hand in hand, to people affected by natural disasters around the world. The foundation develops long-lasting, cost-efficient solutions that enhance the quality of living for vulnerable communities around the world.
The Cadena Foundation is an ambassador to the United Nations, serving as an official spokesperson in resilience strategies, and an active participant in the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit. Cadena is the only Jewish Latin American member of the START Network, the largest humanitarian group of leading NGO’s.