San Diego Jewish Academy student wins at Google Science Fair

Jonah Kohn receiving his award at the Google Science Fair.

Eighth grade San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA) student Jonah Kohn won his age group at the Google Science Fair, held  July 23 in Pal Alto, Calif.

Jonah became one of three overall winners in the competition as decided by an elite group of judges that included Nobel laureate Ada Yonath and Stephen Myers, the scientist heading the CERN accelerator complex.

The Google Science Fair received thousands of entries from over 100 countries worldwide. Kohn’s project, “Good Vibrations: Improving the Music Experience for People with Hearing Loss Using Multi-Frequency Tactile Sound,” won first prize in the 13-14-year-old age group and has the potential to improve the enjoyment of music for millions of people with hearing loss. Kohn achieved this with a device that converts music into vibrations delivered to users using modules attached to their bodies.

The competition was challenging, but Kohn found it enjoyable and interesting. “Google made the competition fun and I made new friends. The hardest part was giving a presentation to the judges, who asked some challenging questions, but I calmed myself and concentrated on my answers,” said Kohn about his experience.

Vint Cerf, who is considered one of the founding fathers of the internet and was a judge in the competition, told a Scientific American magazine reporter that he became fascinated by a statement Jonah made in his presentation: that tactile sound could have an impact beyond music to illuminate how we perceive language.

“I suddenly realized that there are lots of different means by which we understand things, and there is not just a single medium, it’s not just voice but it’s what we see, what we hear, and, now, possibly what we feel. I wanted to just stop everything and go back to school,” said Cerf.

Kohn received a $25,000 scholarship and will enter the ninth grade in August at SDJA, a San Diego private school with a science program that has produced other high profile science competitions wins. “It helps when some of the older kids at our school have already won at science fairs,” said Kohn. “We’re all friends and it motivates you to try your best. I’m already thinking about what I’d like to do next year for my project.”

Related posts:

  1. San Diego Jewish Academy student among 15 global finalists at Google Science Fair
  2. Carmel Valley student wins global high school science competition
  3. San Diego Jewish Academy hopes to build on summer successes
  4. Torrey Pines students shine at Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair
  5. Local student wins San Diego Oceans Foundation award

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on Jul 26, 2012. Filed under Carmel Valley, Del Mar, News, Solana Beach, carmel valley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6





  • Alumni and Advancement Center named for longtime supporters Larry and Cindy Bloch of Rancho Santa Fe
    The University of Rochester’s Alumni and Advancement Center in Rochester, N.Y. has been renamed the Larry and Cindy Bloch Alumni and Advancement Center in recognition of the couple’s support of the university and, in particular, its Advancement programs. In a ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 15, UR President Joel Seligman formally dedicated the center in honor of […]
  • RSF Association Board Biz: It’s fire season: Be prepared
    The Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District (RSFFPD) was officially formed in 1946, in the aftermath of a devastating fire that took place in 1943 and destroyed brush, farmland and homes from Rancho Bernardo through Rancho Santa Fe, all the way to Solana Beach and Del Mar. Today the Fire District spans 38 square miles and protects nearly 30,000 residents. W […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe couple lead way in helping those with thyroid disorders
    Few people may know that Graves’ disease is one of the most common autoimmune diseases afflicting Americans today. Fewer still may know that the only national non-profit dedicated to its patients is headquartered in Rancho Santa Fe. The Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation, co-chaired by Rancho Santa Fe residents Kathleen Bell Flynn and Steve Flynn, has be […]