2 MDSers win microgrants for Jewish app development


Two Manhattan Day School seventh graders, Alexis Eichel and Jem Hanan, were awarded a prestigious microgrant to produce a Jewish Studies app, from the Jewish Education Project and the Avi Chai Foundation. The creative app allows students and teachers to create educational games that help students learn and study in an engaging and individualized way.

The MDS team competed against students in grades 7 through 12 from various day schools. Project Insert, conceptualized by Eichel and Hanan under the guidance of Director of Educational Technology Elisha Hus, allows teachers and students to insert Judaic Studies information into a database will arranged in popular game templates. Once a game is created, students can play against themselves or compete against their classmates to review information or learn new content.

“Students often struggle while studying for Judaic Studies tests,” says Eichel. “This app can help them study without realizing they are doing so.”

Hanan said, “Once we began to do research and think about our own study process, our idea became even more realistic, “ says Hanan. “We hope this app can help other students as well.”

“The girls were able to identify a way to enhance Judaic Studies education and tap into their creativity, to make a difference in their classroom, their school, and in the Jewish day school system,” said Hus.