WALTHAM—Gann Academy, a pluralistic, Jewish high school in Waltham committed to academic excellence and a meaningful Jewish education, announced that six alumni are recipients of patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for their work while at the school.

The first patent was issued in August 2013 to Alex Deardorff (class of 2009), Ben Deardorff (class of 2009), Josh Grinberg (class of 2011) and Shane Skikne (class of 2011) for designing a weight-stabilizing stretcher. The stretcher is constructed in a way that while the rescuer is carrying the injured person he/she remains in a stable position. The rescuer is able to rotate the handlebar independently without transferring any of that motion to the injured person.

The second patent that has been accepted by the USPTO will be issued Spring 2014 to Jared Rodman (class of 2011) and Joe Haber (class of 2011) for designing MagSoles, a type of magnetically-supported footwear. The footwear has sets of magnets fixed in repulsion that are positioned to support a wearer’s weight, providing comfort and potential therapeutic effects. As the user steps down and pushes the sets of repelling magnets toward each other, the repellent force of the magnets pushes back up against the bottom of the foot, thereby softening the blow when walking or standing.

“It is a tremendous honor to have two sets of Gann alumni recognized for the innovative work they did while still in high school,” said Josh Neudel, Chair 21st Century Learning and STEM. “These students designed and built creative solutions to help solve real-life problems, which is a credit to the type of high level work that high school students can do when given the opportunity to pursue their interests and think outside the box.”

“What was unique about these students is not only their achievements in science and innovation, as attested to by these extraordinary achievements, but also their leadership and broader contributions to the Gann community and their deep commitment to Tikkun Olam (repairing the world),” added Rabbi Marc Baker, Head of School. “I am confident that these alumni will use their skills, talents and passions to solve new problems and to make our world a better place.”

About Gann Academy
Founded in 1997, Gann Academy is an independent high school with an enriching and diverse curriculum combining the arts, humanities, math, science, Judaic studies and experiential learning. Classes are discussion-based and emphasize critical thinking and analysis. A pluralistic mission provides students with the opportunity to explore their relationship to Judaism, Israel and the Jewish community around the world. To learn more about Gann Academy, visit them online at

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