As schools have made the switch to “Zoom Learning” during the pandemic, there were many obstacles that students and teachers had to face on a daily basis. One of these issues was Zoom fatigue, becoming tired of staring at a screen for hours just to make it through a day of learning. Ezra Academy stepped in to help give local Middle School students a way to shake that fatigue and give them something to get excited about. This was evident by the overabundant enthusiasm for the Middle School Hanger Challenge from schools and students alike.

Students were asked to get their creative juices flowing by creating something from the excess wire hangers found in their closets at home. They were able to participate in one of two categories: “inventors” in which students invented objects with a meaningful function, or “artistic” where the students were able to display their artistic abilities. Not only did the students come up with amazing ideas, but some of the teachers themselves began brainstorming ideas on how they can reuse the hangers in their homes for other purposes. The projects were all submitted with a video explaining to the judges the function and purpose of their creations. This added so much to the projects and made the job of the judges so much more difficult as the “presentations” revealed even more to each project. Every submission was so well-thought-out and executed.

We would like to thank all the schools that participated in this exciting program and look forward to the next challenge competition. An amazing job was done by all the participants, and we would like to wish a Mazal Tov to the winners in both categories. Sarah Leah Cohen of Bnos Malka Academy won first place in the “inventors” category for her painting easel. Aviva Hochster, also of Bnos Malka, and Rami Kessock of HANC tied for second place, followed by Zachary Aminoff and Yehuda Bolsom of the Yeshiva Ketana of Queens. HANC won the “artistic” component with a “sweep,” winning all three places. This was led by Sigal Holtzman’s wire and string art of a Magen David and the map of Israel, merged together as one. Emily Mark and Leora Peyser were right behind with second and third place, respectively.

The accompanying pictures are Sigal Holtzman and her art work and the invention (easel) of Sarah Leah Cohen, the winners of the two different categories.