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The Young Jewish Innovators Challenge invites 9th and 10th-grader young men to use creative thinking and problem-solving skills to seek solutions to real-life issues that impact our community. In this new 12-week program, students will work in teams and compete against other students in Chicago Jewish high schools.

The program will expose students to:

  • Application of halachic issues to innovations
  • Field trips to industrial and research innovation science labs
  • The investment and intellectual property protection processes of startups
  • Engineering design practices

Don’t miss this opportunity to collaborate with scientists in industry, explore private laboratory and innovation spaces, and apply problem-solving skills to solve real-life problems!

Awards include cash prizes and more!

Boys program starts March 31, 2024.

YJIC Boys Schedule

Please note that dates and times are subject to change.

Register today!

To register or learn more, call 773-649-5360 or email yjic@walderlab.org.

Young Jewish Innovators Challenge 5784 – Boys

Registration and Program Information

  •  The Young Jewish Innovators Challenge is open to 9th and 10th-grade male students in Orthodox Jewish Parochial schools in Chicago, IL, and neighboring suburbs.
  •  Participants must check their email frequently for relevant and timely contest communications from YJIC@walderlab.org (make sure this address does not go to spam). Any updates in scheduling or contest procedures will be emailed out, and participants will be immediately responsible for adhering to them. If a participant lacks email access, they can let us know well in advance and we will be happy to make other arrangements for communication.
  •  Information and links to the assignments will be distributed at workshops and posted on the YJIC Platform. Access will be granted to participants.
  •  The registration fee must be paid by no later than Sunday, March 17, 2024. If the student does not continue in the program after this point, the registration cannot be refunded. The program fee covers books, supplies, admissions, transportation costs and meals.
  •  All workshops will take place at Walder Science 3050 W. Touhy, unless otherwise noted.
  •  Supervised mentoring assistance and computer lab access on filtered computers is available by appointment. Please email yjic@walderlab.org or call 773-649-5358
  •  Participants agree to have their names and likeness used in Walder Science promotional materials.
  •  ll students who complete the contest and all its requirements receive a certificate and a letter of completion, which can be highlighted on a job resume or a college application.


  • Academic and scientific honesty and integrity are requisite.
  •  Safety measures and protocols must be followed.
  •  Classroom decorum protocols and norms are expected to be followed.
  •  All entries must be the contestants’ original work. If the submission is an extension of existing work citations must be made. Projects that were used in past presentations or other competitions will not be considered. Mentors, teachers, parents, etc. may ONLY guide the students, but may not execute or create any part of the submission.
  •  Participants will be scored on a total of points earned from attendance and participation at four sessions, two field trips, independent work (readings, videos, assignments), completion of a Slideshow presentation, and Oral Presentation of their innovation. Participants are responsible for completing all school obligations due to field trip attendance on this program.
  •  Assignments are due on announced due dates. Deductions will be made for assignments submitted late.
  •  Details of the slideshow and oral presentation submission requirements, deadlines, and rubrics are available
  •  All submissions must be in English. If a language other than English is used, an English translation must follow in parenthesis
  •  Students must work in teams of 2 or 3 students. Team member names must submitted in writing or by email by date TBD. If a member drops out, replacements are not allowed after the deadline of date TBD.
  •  Participants and entries may be disqualified if any rules are not followed. Disqualification of contestants is up to the sole discretion of the Walder Science YJIC contest.
  •  The final project must be submitted electronically by date TBD. No late submissions will be allowed.
  •  If you would like to have your slide presentation reviewed in advance of the due date, make a request to the director for arrangements.


  •  There are a total of 270 points in this challenge. Points are earned through participation in sessions, field trips, and submission of independent study assignments (120 points), and an innovation journal, and an Innovation Presentation (150 points).
  •  Score calculation = The total points awarded to each team member/the number of team members.
  •  The team with the highest number of points will win first prize. The team with the second-highest number of points will win second prize, etc.
  •  Participants who present at the culminating event and earn a total of 190 points or more are eligible to attend the culminating trip. Details to follow.


  •  First prize is $500 for each team member.
  •  Second prize is $350 for each team member.
  •  Third prize is $250 for each team member.