Seventeen middle and high school teams from Nassau County advanced to the New York State Science Olympiad after placing among top schools at the regional level.

Syosset High School and Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale placed first in the Nassau East and West Regionals, respectively. The East Regional featured 43 high school teams competing at Wantagh High School, while the West Regional featured 34 teams facing off at Kellenberg.

At the middle school level, Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School in Port Washington took first in the Western Long Island Regional, which consisted of 42 teams at Wisdom Lane Middle School in Levittown.

In total, 23 regionals were held statewide, with teams of up to 15 students competing in events such as "Bridge Building" and "Disease Detectives."

"The kids are so dedicated," said Chris Buchman, co-coach of Carrie Palmer Weber. "It lets children see how science is useful in everyday life."

The top six teams from each high school regional went to the state level in Syracuse on March 13-14, but none placed in the top two to reach the nationals. In addition to Syosset and Kellenberg, other Nassau high schools at the state level were Chaminade, Division Avenue, Great Neck South, Hicksville, John F. Kennedy, Paul D. Schreiber, Roslyn, Wantagh and The Wheatley School.

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The top five teams from the middle school regional will vie at the state level on April 17-18. In addition to Carrie Palmer Weber, other Nassau middle schools advancing are South Woods in Syosset, Bro. Joseph C. Fox School in Uniondale, Wisdom Lane and Hicksville.


GLEN COVE: Podcast reviews

Tenth-grade honors students at Glen Cove High School are helping peers decide which books to read by creating podcast reviews that will be posted on the website of the school's library media center.

To create a podcast, pupils record scripts of reviews they wrote as independent reading projects using Audacity, a recording software.

English Language Arts teacher Lauren Jensen and library media specialist Arlene Munson educated the teens on the basics of recording and how to embed music in their reviews, school officials said.


MASSAPEQUA: Fitness facility

Massapequa High School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony earlier this month for a renovated 3,200-square-foot fitness room that features more than 80 state-of-the-art machines. The school's goal is to modify and expand its physical education curriculum, officials said.

The room includes 26 cardio stations with treadmills and exercise bikes, along with rack, dumbbell and pulley stations.

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ISLANDWIDE: LEGO League Championship

Forty local teams competed earlier this month in the 11th annual FIRST LEGO League Championship at Longwood High School in Middle Island. Teams of students ages 9-14 were asked to build, test and program robots using LEGO Mindstorms to complete an obstacle course.

GearHeadz of Rocky Point (Team 6435) and Floral Park Brick Heads (Team 2438) won the 1st and 2nd Place Champion's Awards, respectively. Both are eligible for the league's U.S. Open in California and Razorback Invitational in Arkansas.

Other Nassau County winners were: Aw3some Parakeets of New Hyde Park (Team 4756), 2nd Place Robot Performance Award; RoboFalcons of Wantagh (Team 15067), Research Award; Friends Academy's The COGnitive Quakers of Locust Valley (Team 10100), Innovative Solution Award; R.I.G. of Floral Park (Team 12119), Presentation Award; Thunder Chickens of Garden City (Team 2305), Mechanical Design Award; Plainview Thunderhawks (Team 237), Programming Award; BuckleyBots of Roslyn (Team 7022), Strategy & Innovation Award; Seaford Sea Lions (Team 92), Inspiration Award; and Progressive School LEGO Jedi's of Merrick (Team 11293), Professionalism Award.