Not all high school students get to spend 45 minutes discussing engineering and robotics with Daniel Weihs…but seven Gann students did just that.

A delegation composed of Daniel Dinjian ’15, Beni Goodwin ’14, Lev Grossman ’16, Gabe Kagan ’15, Alex Leopold ’15, Alex Taglieri ’15 and Aaron Weiner ’14 attended the 2013 American Technion Society Annual Event at the Westin Waltham Hotel this week, where Weihs — Professor Emeritus of the Technion Faculty of Aerospace Engineering and head of the Technion Autonomous Systems Program (TASP) — was the guest speaker.

The Gann delegation had a private meeting before Weihs’ presentation, giving students a chance to “ask in-depth questions, and [receive] long, thorough answers,” said Leopold.
Students and Weihs conversed about a number of topics, such as the direction of modern and future aerospace engineering, robotic devices and using the natural world as inspiration for creating products and systems.
“Learning about what the present and future has to offer in terms of enhancing our personal and collective world, robotic devices — such as the Bionic ReWalk Suit — have opened my eyes to what appears to be a new world,” said Goodwin.
Added Kagan: “I had amazing time learning about how his autonomous systems were inspired by nature such as dandelion seeds, snakes and insects.”
In addition, Weihs offered advice to the delegation beyond the nuts and bolts of innovation. He stressed that failure is an important step in the creative process, suggesting that in order to create a worthy product or system you have to endure struggles along the way. The message was well received by the delegation, inspiring them in a context beyond engineering and robotics.
“I aspire to be as innovative yet humble as [Weihs] while I embark on my journey to reveal what I have to offer for the world and specifically the Jewish people,” added Goodwin.
Students are confident that Weihs’ lessons and advice will translate not only to their current robotics work, but also to the chapters after Gann.
“Professor Weihs has influenced me to look at nature to solve problems that I might encounter during robotics at Gann,” said Kagan.
“My updated perception on the field of engineering has made me much more aware of my opportunities both in terms of my future education and how I take for granted even the slightest of things that help cultivate our society,” concluded Goodwin.
Students were able to attend this event thanks to the generosity of a Gann family.

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