Dr. Aaron Chasan Innovation Lab

January 18, 2022

Dear Berman Community,

At Berman Hebrew Academy, we are committed to creating educational spaces that allow our students to explore, discover, and create. Over the past year, we have continued our investment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, including the hiring of Rabbi Tzvi Hametz as our Director of STEM Education and Innovation, as well as professional development for all staff.

Thanks to a generous gift from Connie and Erik Lindenauer, we were able to partner with TinkRworks to design and develop plans for three new learning and innovation labs in our school. TinkRworks is a STEM-education provider, focusing on transforming learners to innovators. Their team has extensive knowledge and experience in the design and build-out of makerspaces, which allow great flexibility in the design and fabrication elements of any innovation cycle that students undertake.

Today, we are thrilled to share that the Dr. Aaron Chasan ז״ל Innovation Lab will be opening in our Upper School next Fall. We are incredibly grateful to Deb Chasan-Sloan and Dave Sloan and family for their generous gift to create this lab. Please read more about Dr. Chasan ז״ל and his love for innovation at the end of this email.

Over the past few months, Rabbi Hametz has been working with teachers across all disciplines and divisions to find opportunities to infuse a STEM lens and approach in their classrooms. These new innovation spaces will provide for further curricular connections and allow our students the opportunity to inquire, explore, discover, and create.

If you would like to help support our vision to create these additional spaces for our Lower School and Middle School, please contact Shmarya Gasner for sponsorship opportunities.

What is an innovation lab?

An innovation lab is not solely a science lab, woodshop, or a computer lab. It contains elements found in all of these familiar spaces. It is designed to accommodate a wide range of activities, tools, and materials. Diversity and cross-pollination of activities are critical to the design, making and exploration process, and they are what set innovation labs apart from single-use spaces. An innovation lab is not reserved for one subject matter. It creates opportunities for cross-disciplinary activities, for engineering and for any subject (both general and Judaic) to become a living laboratory of learning.

Some features of our first innovation space will include woodworking machines, 3D printers, a laser cutter, a sewing area, a CNC router and more, allowing various opportunities for our students to connect with and personalize their learning.

About Dr. Aaron Chasan ז״ל

Dr. Aaron Chasan ז״ל was the proud grandfather of Rami (’19), Penina (’23), Gaby (’23) and Rafi (’24) Sloan.  He was an accomplished and dedicated optometrist, who was much beloved by his family, community, colleagues, and patients. A biking enthusiast, lover of new technologies, and ardent supporter of Israel, Dr. Chasan was a leader in his profession and cared deeply about training and developing future leaders.  His family is thrilled to be able to honor his memory through the establishment of the Dr. Aaron Chasan ז״ל Innovation Lab, which will provide Berman students a hands-on venue to develop and implement their ideas using science, technology, and creativity.