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HomeThe Gildor Project

The Gildor Project

The Gildor Project is a technical competition based in Israel which has been extended to Jewish schools in the United States through the efforts of the Gruss Foundation’s Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education. The yearly contest requires teams to research, design, build, and implement an invention which addresses a given societal issue.

Students focus on an aspect of the project that best suits their personal area of interest. Participants are selected by Mr. Ken Dietz, the project coordinator and team’s mentor in coordination with Principal Rabbi Hochbaum on the basis not only of their interest and ability in science, but their motivation and commitment to seeing the project through to completion. The team works on the project for an average of two hours a week throughout the school year. “The level of multi-faceted knowledge, discipline and organization is impressive” says Mr. Dietz.


The Excellence 2000 (E2K) program is committed to cultivating a variety of abilities among its students: independent learning and thinking, motivation, initiative, scientific and mathematical thinking, research skills, problem analysis and problem-solving skills. The Gildor Project is one of the highlights of the program’s activities. In this project, E2K 9th graders are asked to deal with an applied science-technology task on several levels: analyzing the problem, setting goals, choosing work methods, analysis and execution of the chosen solution method and finally, construction of a working device that meets preset criteria.

In the past, one competition called for the development of a system for recycling gray water. Various laws have been passed to limit our use of water, one of the results of which has been that many gardens have dried up. If the drought continued in the following year, the level of water in the Sea of Galilee would inevitably drop below the black line – meaning irreversible damage to the quality of the water.

Raising awareness of the need to conserve water and to find additional sources of it are still at the top of the public discourse agenda. Besides the increase in population, the development of agriculture and the rise in the standard of living have also greatly increased the use of water. It is agriculture that consumes the most water – 64% of all water resources (6% for industry and the rest for home use). With regard to fresh water (water that is suitable for drinking) the picture changes: home use is the largest consumer (roughly 53%), followed by agriculture (roughly 38%) and industry (roughly 9%). Intelligent use of water, such as recycling gray water for agricultural purposes is a necessary alternative to enhance natural water sources. There are a number of technologies for the gray water recycling, but there is still plenty of room for improvement and streamlining.

The challenge that each participating team is faced with is great: learning, designing and constructing a system that will take part in an international competition at the end of the year. However, the competition is just the framework; the principal benefit is the actual participation in the project. The process the groups will undergo resembles ‘real world’ R&D processes. There is no substitute for the experience gained from this kind of hands-on work, which also fosters inventiveness, scientific thinking, methods of problem analysis, problem solving and team work.





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