Top Bar


It’s not just what you learn. It’s who you become.

Hero Image

Interior Navigation Container

1st Grade Enrichment Program

"Every child should have the chance to be exceptional without exception."~Dr. Joseph Renzulli

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the first grade semester of our Enrichment program of STEAM Enrichment Clusters to begin on Thursday, May 2nd. Our program affords every child an opportunity to participate in a STEAM-based Enrichment slot. This broad enrichment initiative reflects our deep commitment to enabling each student to discover and take pride in the gifts and talents with which she or he is endowed as well as our commitment to championing a broader conception of giftedness.

Your children will have the opportunity to explore an area of interest, talent, or passion in depth in science, technology, engineering, art-as-design, or math, while in a small group with other students and a facilitator who also share this interest. The challenging learning pursued is grounded in the production of a product, performance, or service for an authentic audience.

In this model, STEAM Enrichment Clusters disseminate enrichment pedagogy to every student and is founded on the belief that everyone has the potential to demonstrate gifted behavior. Our STEAM Enrichment Cluster Program and many varied enrichment learning offerings address the diverse abilities and strengths children possess. Our ultimate goal is to help children develop their interests and talents and understand how they can share their gifts with the world.


Please fill out the online Student Selection Form by Sunday April 28th after which date some STEAM Enrichment Clusters will become filled. We ask that each child select 3 enrichment learning opportunities in which he or she is interested.

Every student is guaranteed a place in one of his or her three selections. If only one selection is made, we cannot guarantee placement in that Enrichment Cluster.

Feel free to be in touch with Sharon Marson at: or at 718-548-1717 x1212 or Dr. Chaya Fine at: if you would like to be involved in this program or if you have any questions.

Rabbi Binyamin Krauss, Principal
Sharon Marson, Director of the Arts & Enrichment
Dr. Chaya Fine, Director of Science Curriculum & STEM Initiative

Click here for a PDF of the Spring 2019 1st Grade STEAM Enrichment Cluster brochure.
Click here to fill out the Student Selection Form

1. HOW DID YOU DO THAT? Reading For Construction Consortium


Did you ever wish you could create drawings, origami, and 3D constructions, but felt you just couldn’t? Creating a prefabricated project is easy when you have good directions. What makes some directions good and others not? In this Enrichment Cluster you will explore iPad apps that allow you to create origami and drawings. You will evaluate and recommend the easiest ones to follow. Later on, we may build a Lego kit and evaluating directions for ease of use. Perhaps we will write our own directions. Either way, we will investigate the quality of different directions and learn that we can construct almost anything with good instructions.

Facilitator: Rivka Heisler

Rivka is Technology Integrator at SAR Academy. Her 4 children’s many constructions turned her into a Lego whiz. She prides herself on her ability to build prefabricated furniture to create anything that has directions, even if she can't draw a straight line!


What is electricity? How does it work? How does electricity travel? Did you know that electricity is even involved when you turn on a faucet? Let’s use STEAM principles: science, technology, engineering, art-as-design and math to figure it out. We will blink and buzz our way to electricity and circuitry! Create your own circuit and investigate which materials conduct electricity. Discover which ones insulate to stop electrons in their tracks. Explore and practice electricity safety. Make discoveries about batteries and create batteries out of common household items including a lemon, potatoes, and water. Then demonstrate your knowledge and mastery in designing a light-up card that uses conductive properties you came to understand in this charged Enrichment Cluster.

Facilitator: Morah Renata Cohen

Morah Renata is an artist, a curious math thinker, a scientist, and an innovator. She is now spearheading a Fairytale Engineering course for 1st & 2nd graders, teaching 3rd & 4th grade science, and is an art teacher exposing students to art through a math lens.



Students will study works of famous artists such as Vincent van Gogh and investigate how math and science concepts are used to create tints and shades used in these masterpieces. They will create their own colors comprised of tints and shades by using different ratios of primary and secondary colors and analyzing the impact in shifting the ratios. They will refer back to the data they collect when deciding which tints and shades to use in creating a masterpiece of their own. Students will also explore the science behind light and color as they engage in hands-on activities that foster a deeper understanding of how we see the beautiful colors surrounding us.

Facilitator: Noel Gussen

Noel is a multi-talented artist with special interest in painting and digital arts. He received certificates in painting and drawing from Project Oren in Israel and a BFA from West Virginia University. He was Lead Creative for the Apple Store, exhibited his paintings in solo and group exhibitions, and was owner of The Grassy Noel Art Gallery and Studio.


Join Jessica Haller to explore Riverdale Park, a home for wildlife right in SAR’s backyard. In this adventure, experience the natural environment and different ecosystems in all sorts of weather conditions. Consider which animal made tracks we find, which tree makes the best animal home, and which naturally growing plants are safe to eat. Use hands-on experimentation to gather data, identify plants, map various terrain, and analyze and record the findings in a personal field journal. We will hike to the park and experience the living laboratory of the natural world in this exciting rain-or-shine adventure! Bug boxes, binoculars and ponchos provided.

Facilitator: Jessica Haller                                                      

SAR mom, Jessica Haller is an entrepreneur, a consultant, a Sustainability Professional, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a Leader with the Climate Reality Project. She cares deeply about the welfare of the environment and is excited to share this passion with our students.  


Are you inspired by nature? Do you notice patterns in the world around you? Do you like taking photographs? Are you interested in learning about the art of photography? Through the lens of the camera you will see and capture many math-based patterns in our environment. You will learn how to use the iPad camera and edit photos like a professional photographer. In this STEAM Enrichment Cluster you will explore various famous math patterns: Fibonacci, tessellations and fractals. You will be inspired by artists: M.C. Escher, Piet Mondrian, Zellige, and the photography art form to explore concepts in nature.

Facilitator: Adiella Shem Tov

Adiella, has a BFA from Concordia U. majoring in sculpture, minoring in psychology. She’s an art educator joyfully wearing many hats at SAR. In the art room she develops innovative, meaningful curriculum for grades N-6 to explore and create. On the Theme of the Year team, she excites and inspires students with large scale and sometimes interactive artwork. Adiella is also a singer/song-writer recently joining SAR’s Choir as Co- Director. She is a multi-media artist who loves fusing Torah & spiritually into all her creations and loves combining so many interests at SAR.




What is the loudest sound you ever heard? What is the most interesting? Have you ever wondered how a sound looks? Did you know you are walking around with a microphone in your ear? Let’s explore how soundwaves are a way of communicating and how our ears, vocal chords, and brain work together so we can hear. We will use tuning forks, singing bowls, and other vibrational instruments to find out about sound and vibration and even how those things can affect our feelings.

Facilitator: Avi Kramer

Avi is a graduate from both SAR Academy and SAR High School. He has been playing music since he was 8 years old, and in high school was in the band, chorus, and has taught music students from the time he was old enough to drive. After Avi graduated high school he lead the HS band that performed every month for the school, as well as taught them music theory. He has also worked with the Academy’s 8th grade graduation band. Avi is part of our staff, assisting music classes, teaching guitar, and teaching guitar, piano, and music theory privately. In college he took a course, Physics of Sound, and is excited to share what he learned with our students!



Come explore with engineer and artist, Ayelet Feinberg six kinds of materials: paper, wood, plastic, metal, stone, and rubber. What do you know about each material, its strength, flexibility, common uses in industry and in our lives. We will experiment with how heat and water effect the materials. Let’s build cool objects and observe how each material behaves when you work with it!

Facilitator: Ayelet Feinberg

Ayelet joined SAR after moving from Israel four years ago. She now has moved back but returns as an engineer and artist-in-residence intermittently. Ayelet has supported students in: Hebrew, math, and coding and also has been faculty advisor for MS STEM projects and competitions. Ayelet has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and worked in the field of engineering product design and development. Ayelet's passion about the physical world is fueled by her deep understanding of mechanical structures, energy, math and science.



Spring is a perfect time to explore solar energy when the sun is shining brightly and students can feel the warmth it provides. “Here Comes The Sun” is an inquiry-based unit that will introduce first graders to the basic concepts of solar energy through hands-on investigations and explorations. While having fun, students will learn about heat, light, temperature, reflection, absorption, and more! In addition to the science of the sun, first graders will gain an appreciation for how important the sun is for both animal and plant survival.

Facilitator: Chaya Fine

Chaya Fine has taught 7th grade science at SAR for the past 16 years and is currently serving as the Director of Science Curriculum and STEM initiative. Having participated in STEM conferences and workshops at the elementary school level, she is thrilled to be able to work with younger students in STEAM Enrichment Clusters.



Engineering is the application of scientific knowledge to solving problems in the real world. Engineers try to solve problems by inventing, designing, and building things.

Working with a real engineer, students will learn how to plan and build models of several mechanical structures. After learning about various and necessary components, students will use their creations to explore topics such as force, motion and energy. Students will also be challenged to find engineering solutions to common problems.

Facilitator: Chaim Sandler

Lower School Science Teacher (and beach enthusiast), Chaim Sandler, or Mr. S,  is excited to share his love for engineering and explore this amazing field of study with students at SAR.



What does it take to build a room? What materials work? How do you create strong support? How do you make a room fun, relaxing, exciting for a child, a dog, an athlete, a shoe shopper? What about a particular place makes you want to go back again and again? Let’s explore design, color theory, and marketing to understand what makes a space or structure work for different people and different needs. Consider how decisions are made including which materials and where items are placed in a space. Do you think children and adults would build a playground the same way? Why or why not? Let’s build a room that reflects understanding planning for a particular person or particular purpose. Let’s have fun and “Construct-A-Room!”

Facilitator: Rena Karol

Rena Karol was an SAR parent for many years and a Learning To Look volunteer for 7 years. In addition to spending time in the ELC as a substitute teacher, she also runs the ELC Afterschool Program. Rena is looking forward to sharing her interest in design, and exploring and experiencing it with the children in this Enrichment Cluster.