Bosmat Shalom-Tuchin, the newly-appointed CEO of the “FIRST Israel” organization which fosters technology and robotics for youth, recently made Boys Town Jerusalem one of the first schools she visited as CEO. Here she personally met students who live, breathe and dream robotics, now more than ever as they put the finishing touches on their hand-built robots to compete in the upcoming FIRST robotics tournaments.

Moments into the 9th and 10th grade team’s demonstration of their robot’s skills, the CEO couldn’t resist manning the controls herself to guide the robot into action as she “talked shop” with its avid creators. The Boys Town Jerusalem team will soon compete in the FTC-FIRST Tech Challenge, a national-level contest testing their prowess in designing, programming and building a champion robot.

In the school’s Follender Robotics Center, Boys Town Jerusalem’s younger generation of robotics enthusiasts (7th and 8th graders) made Mrs. Shalom-Tuchin their audience for a live practice in presenting their projects to the judges, as well as maneuvering their own robot across the obstacle course board in preparation for entry into the regional “FLL-FIRST Lego League” tournament.

FIRST Israel is part of the renowned international FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) youth organization whose competitions generate a major interest in robotics and engineering worldwide. Bosmat Shalom-Tuchin noted that the Boys Town Jerusalem robotics participants are among the 12,000 students across Israel who take part in 35 FIRST Israel contests annually. “Our organization builds people, not just robots,” she declared. “The Boys Town Jerusalem’s teams are creating the cooperation and the teamwork that is the hallmark of excellence for which FIRST strives.” Boys Town Jerusalem and FIRST Israel also have a personal connection: BTJ Honorary Chairman Josh Weston initiated FIRST Israel and serves as its the Honorary Chairman.

At the close of her visit, Mrs. Shalom-Tuchin wished the Boys Town Jerusalem teams great success both in the upcoming competitions and in their lives ahead. “I’m very impressed with the knowledge these students showed and by the fun they are having with their robotics projects,” she said. “FIRST Israel is proud to be a partner with Boys Town Jerusalem. We both share the same passion for cultivating our youth to lead the next generation in meeting the technical challenges to come.”

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