An Oyster Bay school is using the sport of sailing to teach science, technology, engineering and math.
St. Dominic Elementary School has joined forces with The WaterFront Center, a nonprofit community center for marine education and recreation in Oyster Bay, to offer a pilot program designed to help students learn those STEM principles in a fun way. Seventh- and eighth-graders are taking part in 15-day sessions this fall and next spring.
It is the only STEM program on Long Island to incorporate sailing, school officials said.
"The students don't necessarily have any prior sailing experience," said Dave Waldo, the center's executive director. "It's just a real and tangible way for them to apply what they've learned in the classroom."
One STEM lesson introduces students to the workings of "simple machinery" found on a 23-foot sailboat, such as various levers and gears, Waldo said. Others teach them how wind is formed and can assist with water travel.
"Future jobs are going to be placed in STEM fields," said Cecilia St. John, St. Dominic's principal for grades pre-K through 8. "If we don't expose them to this at a young age, they're going to miss out."
The effort is an outgrowth of U.S. Sailing's Reach Program, which uses sailing as an educational platform to help youths explore STEM-based careers.
Vincent Randazzo is the new principal of Lincoln Orens Middle School. He replaced John Barnes, who now is principal of Albert Leonard Middle School in New Rochelle.
Randazzo most recently worked in the New York City schools, serving as principal of Robert F. Kennedy Community Middle School in Flushing, Queens. Before that he held several positions at Walter H. Crowley School of Leadership in Elmhurst, including assistant principal, academic lead for science and technology, and dean of the academy of science and technology.
Clyde A. Braswell has been named principal of Washington Rose Elementary School, replacing Angela Alexander. Braswell previously served as assistant principal of D.L. Sims Elementary School in Conyers, Ga.
James Connolly is the new principal at A.P. Willits Elementary School, and Chad Snyder is the new principal of Walt Whitman Elementary School.
Connolly, who replaced Mary Tabone, has served 12 years as an administrator and teacher in the Syosset Central School District. Snyder, who replaced Patricia Varrone, previously served in the Half Hollow Hills school district as principal at Chestnut Hill Elementary School in Dix Hills and assistant principal of Sunquam Elementary School in Melville.
"Syosset is a nationally recognized school district that upholds the highest standards in education, teacher evaluation and school community," Snyder said, adding that he is "eager to become a part of such an amazing district and community."
Vying for scholarships
Seventeen African-American high school seniors from across Long Island are among more than 1,600 students nationwide named last month as semifinalists for 2014 National Achievement Scholarships, to be awarded in the spring by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. The competition recognizes outstanding black high school students.
The semifinalists were selected for being among the high scorers on the PSAT/ NMSQT test given during their junior year. From this group, about 1,300 nationwide will be selected as finalists after they provide information about their academic record, community service and other activities, write an essay and take the SAT, among other requirements. Finalists will be named in January, and scholarship winners will be announced in April.
The semifinalists are: Deven Hurt and Asia Stewart of Bay Shore High School, Avery Samuel of Bellport High School, Alicia Hamilton of Central Islip High School, Lindsay Griffiths of Copiague High School, Taylor Hamilton of Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills, Marai Brooks of Hewlett High School, Bryant Grey-Stewart of Hicksville High School, Bedel Saget of Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station, Budie Kadir of Islip High School, Maeve Daniels of Grace Christian Academy in Merrick, Rob Louis of Roslyn High School, Alexandra Cunningham and Simon Wynter of Stony Brook School, Leigha Carryl of Syosset High School, Archer Casimir of Valley Stream Central High School and Samara Ford of Valley Stream North High School.