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Great Neck South, Sachem win LI Regional Envirothon

A Great Neck South High School team --

A Great Neck South High School team -- from left, Katelyn Chang, Julia Gorenstein, Annie Zhang, Jennifer Wang and Eric Kuang -- took first place for Nassau County at the 2018 Long Island Regional Envirothon. Credit: Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation Districts / David Ganim

For the third consecutive year, teams from Great Neck South High School and Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma have taken the top spots for Nassau and Suffolk counties, respectively, at the Long Island Regional Envirothon.

The 20th annual competition challenged five-person teams to take written exams and engage in outdoor challenges in aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife — as well as give oral presentations on a predetermined topic, which this year was western rangeland management. The event was held at the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts in Wheatley Heights.

Second place went to teams from Division Avenue High School in Levittown and Longwood High School in Middle Island, while third place went to teams from Garden City High School and a second team from Sachem High School North.

Great Neck South and Sachem North’s first-place teams went on to place third and seventh, respectively, at the state level last month in upstate Geneva.

“They just really love science,” Great Neck South team adviser Andrew Tuomey said of the team. Of the event’s importance, he said: “It’s good to get kids outside and appreciating nature.”

Great Neck South’s team consisted of students Katelyn Chang, Julia Gorenstein, Eric Kuang, Jennifer Wang and Annie Zhang; Sachem North’s team consisted of students Chris Eagler, Miranda Garcia-Cassani, Emily Gelardi, Emily Hudak and Molly Kearns. All received $500 scholarships.

Participating pupils rotated between subject stations and answered questions, many of which involved the use of maps and equipment including audiovisual devices.

The regional event was coordinated by the Soil & Water Conservation Districts in Nassau and Suffolk counties.


Business plan competition

A W. Tresper Clarke High School team — Joe Collica, Stephanie Papoutsakis, Bryanna Resende and Avani Singh — placed third in Junior Achievement of New York’s 11th annual High School Business Plan Competition, which challenged students to pitch business ideas based on the theme, “Next Big Thing: Products.”

Clarke’s team, called SnapCase, presented an idea for an “economical, eco-friendly and trendy alternative to a typical smartphone case,” Junior Achievement officials said. Each team member received $750.

This year’s competition attracted 180 teams and was judged by a panel of business leaders and entrepreneurs.


LI Math Fair

The Syosset school district won 19 gold medals — the most of any district — in the 2018 Long Island Math Fair at Hofstra University. The fair, open to grades seven through 12, required students to submit essays on any math topic and give 15-minute presentations.

Other top Nassau County districts and their gold medal totals were: Herricks, 16; Hicksville, 10; Roslyn, nine; and Port Washington and East Williston, six each.

The event was sponsored by the university in conjunction with the Nassau County Association of Mathematics Supervisors and the Nassau and Suffolk county math teachers associations.


College-sponsored scholarships

Nineteen LI students were among 3,500 winners nationwide of scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Corp. The scholarships provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study.

Winners and their high schools were: Shawn Connell, Chaminade; Pantho Sayed, W. Tresper Clarke; Aidan Piraino, Farmingdale; Jack McKernan, Garden City; David Yao and Esther Zhu, Great Neck South; Elizabeth Chen, Half Hollow Hills East; Nicole Garcia, Nicolas Ryan and Brian Yang, Herricks; Michelle Lu and Brandon Zhao, Jericho; Brooke Di Spirito, Locust Valley; Andrew Batteria and Walter Stackler, Manhasset; Douglas Read, Sayville; Danielle D’Alonzo, St. Anthony’s; and Mathew Chvasta and Bradley Greenberg, Syosset. — MICHAEL R. EBERT

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