Some top students from Israel recently showed off their cutting edge innovations, and how they developed such sophisticated devices could be important to America as well. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.
For one day, some of Israel's top science and technology high school students took over a corner of the Big Apple's Union Square with a street lab, a tent designed to show what young people are capable of if they invest time in learning the so-called STEM subjects, science, technology, Engineering, and Math.
The projects inside include a mobile app used for instantly identifying from a barcode whether the product you're holding contains ingredients you're allergic to.
"For example, if I'm allergic to milk, I pick from the list milk, scan the barcode, and you're allergic to milk, it includes milk, so I can't eat it," says Sabir Cohen, a 12th grader.
There is also a camera that can be installed in teens' cars and can, if there are any signs of inebriation, initiate a Skype call with mom and dad, who, in turn, can initiate a breathalyzer test, even shut down the car.
"The parents can see the results of the test from the breathalyzer, and they can decide if you can start the engine or not," says Yehuda Negosi, a 12th grader.
While the innovations themselves are interesting, what's also worth noting here is that Israel is having a similar problem the U.S. is having. It's having a problem getting it's younger people interested in science, technology, engineering and math. So as one of its potential solutions, it set up what's called a Sci-Tech Schools Network, a potential solution that it's now trying to share with the U.S.
The charter schools place a heavy emphasis on STEM subjects, which program organizers insist leads to around 67 percent of grads to continue in a STEM field, versus the 37 percent that do from non Sci-Tech schools.
"We have algorithmica, electronica, the science of the sea," says Gil Shahar, a teacher with the Sci-Tech Schools Network.
For about the last year, seven schools in New York have been implementing a similar Sci-Tech curriculum. Israeli educators say they're now set branch out across the U.S., aiming to share the system with around 100 schools within the next few years.