Jericho High School has some of the region's best ethics debaters.
The school's five-student team -- Ken Aizawa, Anuhita Basavaraju, Jasdeep Kaur, Ben Kronengold and Morgan Smiley -- won first place earlier this month in the third annual Long Island High School Ethics Bowl. The teens were challenged to argue the morality of issues such as cheating versus collaboration and the use of SAT scores in the college admissions process.
"We were very well organized, and that was something everyone commented on," said Mary Moran, the Jericho social studies teacher who coaches the team. "We listened, we heard what other teams said, and we were flexible with our answers. It was wonderful to see."
To win, Jericho's ethics team went undefeated in four head-to-head rounds held for a panel of judges comprised of local attorneys, journalists and education officials. The team next competes in the 2012-13 National High School Ethics Bowl at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on April 19-20.
The regional bowl was coordinated by The Squire Family Foundation, a nonprofit based in East Northport that promotes the pre-college study of philosophy and ethics.
As part of the requirement, students will be able to select courses ranging from career and financial management to money and investment to virtual enterprise. In addition, in collaboration with Nassau BOCES there will be a self-directed online option.
"It is one of many ways we seek to ensure all of our graduates have the skills and competencies they need to become responsible, productive citizens," said Stephanie Gould, president of the school board.
Clean drinking water
Locust Valley Intermediate School recently raised about $5,000 to help bring clean drinking water to a war-torn community in Africa through Water for South Sudan, a Rochester-based nonprofit organization.
To raise the money, students collected contributions from parents at the school's fall picnic. Proceeds also were donated from the district's back-to-school bake sales, coordinated by the Locust Valley Elementary Parents' Council.
The school's name will be inscribed on a well to be dug during the next dry season in Sudan.
In other news, the Locust Valley Central School District recently trained appropriate staff -- including coaches, nurses and physical education teachers -- at all six of its schools in concussion management. It is among a handful of districts statewide that have conducted this training all the way to the elementary level, district officials said.
Seaford High School's varsity football team recently received the first Community Service Award issued by the Nassau County High School Football Coaches Association for its involvement in local community service efforts.
The team's efforts included a free, three-day football clinic for all youngsters involved in the Long Island Broncos, a nonprofit youth football and cheerleading organization in Seaford. At its home games, the team also paid tribute to different sectors of the community, including local war veterans, victims of superstorm Sandy, and students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
"The football team's community service program is one way of giving back and showing appreciation for the great support the team receives from the Seaford community," athletic director Tom Condon said.
STEM video contest
The Manhattan-based beauty company L'Oreal USA's "For Girls In Science" program has launched a video contest inviting students nationwide, ages 13-18, to create original videos under the theme: "Why is STEM Cool to You." Videos must be in one of four STEM categories -- science, technology, engineering or mathematics -- and be kept under 60 seconds.
A panel of judges will select eight submissions from each category after the deadline of March 4, and the public will be invited to vote on their favorite March 18-25. The grand-prize winner will receive $2,500, a 16-gigabyte tablet, and $500 worth of beauty products.
For a list of the contest rules and a submission form, visit forgirlsinscience.org.