A group of five talented twelfth grade students from Kfar Silver youth village, part of the World ORT Kadima Mada educational network, won first prize March 15 at the national safes tournament, which challenges youth to use a principle of physics to crack open a safe. The same group had reason to be proud of their achievement when they placed fourth in an international safe-cracking tournament two weeks later. Both tournaments were generated and hosted by the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot. Teams from seventy schools in Israel participated in the domestic competition; the Kfar Silver team was the only one from southern Israel to advance to the finals. Kfar Silver teams have participated previously, but no earlier team made it to the final stage.
Lishay Even-tsur, Abir Sigron, Avi’am Ivgy, Shoahm Tsarfati and Leon Yehudah, the gifted students who succeeded, were mentored by Michal Sigron, their physics teacher at Kfar-Silver, and laboratory manager Alex Rubshtien. Charged with building a safe that opens based on the laws of physics, the Kfar Silver group used a simple principle that had never been tried in previous years and impressed the judges, who score each team based on the originality of the physics concept, its application and how fortified their safe remains against break-ins. And the winning team managed to open the majority of safes of other teams while their safe was hardly cracked by opponents, another factor that contributed to their victory.
“We knew our safe was good,” affirmed Michal, whose son Abir participated on the winning team. “We’ve been working on this since the beginning of the year, and tried all kinds of methods until we reached the principle that brought us to the winning point.” Michal explained the value of the enterprise. “The students understand there is much more than regular school studies; they got to hear interesting lectures on the speed of light and nano-technology at the top of science research these days, and they learned to think in creative ways.”
World ORT Kadima Mada focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) instruction infused with a “can-do” philosophy and encouragement that motivates students to advance. Please give generously to help WOKM further its outstanding programs in Israel that benefit thousands and strengthen the fabric of the country.