A team of Locust Valley fifth-graders has reached the national level of a prestigious science competition for proposing a filtration device that removes carbon dioxide from vehicle exhaust.
The Locust Valley Intermediate School pupils — Hana Glavan, Michelle Hsu and James O'Connell — were among 24 regional winners last month in the 21st Annual ExploraVision Program, a K-12 contest that asked students to imagine technologies that could exist in 20 years.
More than 5,200 entries were submitted throughout the United States.
"I'm ecstatic to see the kids think outside the box," said Locust Valley physics teacher Alan Stella, who mentors the team with librarian Anne Joyce. Of the idea's importance, he said: "Green technology is a hot topic, as we're in a global community facing lots of uncertainty."
The project, titled "Triple C: Carbon Capture for Cars," proposed a membrane to separate carbon dioxide and convert it to liquid that could be extracted for disposal at gas stations. The team's next task, Stella said, is to create a website promoting its idea for a chance to win a $10,000 or $5,000 bond.
Nassau schools earning honorable mentions were Mepham High School in North Bellmore, Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School and JFK High School, Lynbrook High School, Division Avenue High School in Levittown, Jericho Middle School, Jericho High School, North Shore Hebrew Academy High School in Great Neck, Garden City High School, South Side High School in Rockville Centre, John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, Howard B. Mattlin Middle School in Plainview, Bayville Intermediate School and Wantagh High School.
The contest is coordinated by Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association.
Vocal contest winner
Emma Haley, a sophomore at North Shore High School, has been named winner of the New York section of the William E. Schmidt Foundation's Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition.
Haley performed Edvard Grieg's "Solviejg Lied," Mozart's "Batti Batti" and Samuel Barber's "Sure on This Shining Night." She won $2,000 for vocal study and a $4,000 scholarship to SUNY's Purchase College.
Civil rights icon visits
Marion Street Elementary School pupils received a living history lesson from Joseph McNeil, one of four African-American college freshmen who staged a sit-in at a "whites-only" lunch counter at the Woolworth in Greensboro, N.C., in 1960.
"We didn't let the bullies win," McNeil said of the sit-in, which helped ignite the civil rights movement.
During the visit, third-graders put on a skit titled "Paving the Road to the White House," in honor of President Barack Obama's re-election.
Sixteen Nassau County students were first-place winners last month in various categories at the regional level of Skills- USA, a nonprofit that prepares teens for careers in trade, technical and skilled services.
Winners were: Adam Amoedo, Mark Arias, Michael Collins, Vamadi Golo, Brenda Gonzalez, Cristal Kharoufa, James Orellana, Meagan Rosati, Alex Schiffer and Alexa Vines of Joseph M. Barry Career & Technical Education Center in Westbury; Louie Bruni, Aaron Geer, Collin Gettings, Michelle Licciardo and Lawrence Yip of Gerald R. Claps Career & Technical Center in Levittown; and Carmella Buanincontri of Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park.
Science fair winners
Twenty-eight Long Island students were regional finalists last month in the Long Island Science & Engineering Fair, which included 530 teens from 75 high schools at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. They will join 1,600 teens from 70 countries at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in Phoenix on May 12-17.
Long Island's regional finalists were: Anthony Bisulco, Trinity Russell and Josh Zweig of Commack High School; Shilpa Iyer and Shweta Iyer of Comsewogue High School in Port Jefferson Station; Shujat Khan and Shamoon Rizvi of East Meadow High School; Dan Hanover of Great Neck North High School; ByeongHo Jung and Ben Pleat of Herricks High School; Samantha DiSalvo, Ryan Kenny and Amy Vitha of Hewlett High School; Sonia Joshi, Olivia Novick and Amy Xu of Jericho High School; Natalie Giovino of JFK High School in Bellmore; Albert Kim, Archie Kong, Randy Tung and Arthur Wang of Manhasset High School; Minah Kim of Schreiber High School in Port Washington; Ben Akhavan of Rambam Mesivta High School in Lawrence; Arshia Aalami Harandi of Roslyn High School; Aneri Kinariwalla of Sayville High School; Evan Chernack of South Side High School in Rockville Centre; Aakash Jhaveri of The Wheatley School in Old Westbury; and Ganesh Ravichandran of W. Tresper Clarke High School in East Meadow.