Teams from Huntington and Massapequa high schools are this year’s mock trial champions for Suffolk and Nassau counties, respectively.
Huntington’s team defeated Ward Melville High School from East Setauket to win their regional championship’s final round at the Alfonse M. D’Amato U.S. Courthouse in Central Islip. Huntington took third place at the state level last month in Albany.
Massapequa’s team placed first in Nassau County’s regional championships at the State Supreme Court in Mineola, defeating Syosset High School in the final round. Massapequa, which also won a county championship in 2012, went on to place fourth statewide.
“It was absolutely incredible,” said Huntington senior Max Robins, who co-captained the team with classmate Alyssa Befumo. “It was the perfect culmination of weeks and weeks of hard work.”
This year’s fictional case involved a student arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after a teacher witnessed him pushing a peer. Teams act as the defense or prosecution to demonstrate their knowledge of law and courtroom procedures, with judging handled by local attorneys and judges.
The Suffolk and Nassau county bar associations coordinated the tournaments for Suffolk and Nassau, respectively. The state tournament was sponsored by the New York State Bar Association.
NY History Day
Five Huntington High School students — Paul Katigbak, Andrew Knowles, Ryan Knowles, Julien Rentsch and Katie Riley — were first-place winners in New York History Day, a competition that asked them to explore local, state, national and world history.
Riley won first place in the competition’s senior individual documentary category for an entry about female service pilots in the U.S. Air Force. The other four students won first place as a team in the senior group documentary category for an entry on the first spy exchange of the Cold War.
The five were the only students from Suffolk County to place first in any categories.
The top two individual and group entries in each category — documentary, exhibit, paper, performance and website — are eligible for the national competition in Maryland on June 10-14.
A 10-student team from William Floyd High School won the title of grand champions last month at Disney’s Cook Around the World, an international hospitality and culinary competition in Orlando that included 52 high school teams from around the world. It was judged by Aarón Sánchez of FOX Broadcasting’s “MasterChef.”
William Floyd’s entree consisted of a pan-seared chicken breast with Moroccan couscous and a cumin garlic sauce, and dessert was a moist mini-cake decorated to represent Africa’s climate and flora. The team also placed first in the “best side dish” category for bhajias and kachumbari.
“This was an opportunity of a lifetime for many of these kids and they took full advantage of it,” William Floyd culinary arts teacher Rich Daly said.
Teams from St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, Ward Melville High School in East Setauket and Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School are among four national winners of $10,000 in this year’s ExploraVision Competition, which challenged students to imagine a technology that might exist in 20 years.
The St. Anthony’s team proposed an emotion recognition device that helps autistic individuals better communicate, while Ward Melville’s team explored the efficiency of polychiral multi-walled carbon nanotube solar cells. Plainview-Old Bethpage’s team proposed using nanosponges and nano-needles to create a healthy balance of mucus within the organs of a person with cystic fibrosis.
The competition, which is coordinated by the National Science Teachers Association and Toshiba, received more than 4,600 entries, including 746 from New York.