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SDJA was the big winner at the 2011 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, with 50% of its high school entries taking home the grand prize, or Sweepstakes Awards, and over half of its middle school entries receiving a first place award.


San Diego, CA – March 30, 2011 – Last Thursday night, the fruition of several educators’ work was realized when three San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA) high school students took home top honors at the 2011 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair by winning the prestigious Sweepstakes Award. In addition, two of the six available invitations to the Intel Science and Engineering Fair were awarded to SDJA students, who participated in a unique elective called the High School Science and Technology Research Program (HSSTRP).


“Three of our four entries received top awards. Three projects were invited to the California State Science Fair, which is an accomplishment in its own, but two of our students’ projects received the Sweepstakes Award and were invited to the Intel Fair, which is essentially the Olympics of high school science. These accomplishments are even more impressive if you consider the fact that our high school has less than 200 students in it,” said Dr. Jane Willoughby, director of HSSTRP at SDJA.


The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the premier global science competition for high school students and invites students from 50 states and about 30 countries to attend. SDJA Sweepstakes Award winners and Intel Science Fair invitation recipients included Ali Tradonsky and Tammy Rubin for “A Search for Reliable Molecular Cytogenetic Markers of Prostate Cancer Prognosis” and Matt Goldklang for “Red Tide Sensitivity to Ocean Acidification.”


The High School Science and Technology Research Program at SDJA began nearly three years ago and was created by Maimonides Upper School Principal Dr. Jeffery Davis and Dr. Jane Willoughby. According to Davis, the goal of the program was to create “Intel caliber” projects that allow students to patent and publish their work. HSSTRP is also unique because it allows students to partner with local research experts who offer mentorship.


In addition to the high school wins, SDJA’s middle school entries were equally as impressive, with over half of the entries taking first place, four invitations to the California State Science Fair and Broadcom Masters Competition and eight corporate awards.


SDJA’s middle school science program feeds the HSSTRP program and provides the foundation for the students to take the elective when they enter high school. “I was blown away by our middle school students,” stated Rose Armour, middle school science teacher. “Our wins at the middle school level bode very well for our future entries into the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair.”

Last week’s awards were the culmination of years of work for both the students and faculty at SDJA. The HSSTRP program was very successful, and according to SDJA senior and Sweepstakes Award winner Tammy Rubin, it helped her form a foundation for her future. “This program helped me realize what I will be facing in the real world and provided me with a foundation for medical school. I learned how to ask questions and conduct complex research projects, which makes me more prepared for college than most students,” said Rubin.


San Diego Jewish Academy challenges infants to high school seniors to achieve their full academic potential and become individuals of strong character, while inspiring them to make Judaism a vital and relevant aspect of their lives.


For more information about San Diego Jewish Academy, visit


Click here for a full list of SDJA’s Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair Awards.

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