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Long IslandEducation

Nassau: Robotics teams in U.S. tourney

A robot from the Plainedge High School team

A robot from the Plainedge High School team shoots a ball into one of the hoops at the 13th Annual Long Island Regianal FIRST Robotics Competition held at Hofstra University on March 30-31. Photo Credit: Handout

Five robotics teams from Long Island high schools will compete next weekend at a national tournament in St. Louis.

The schools -- Longwood High School in Middle Island, Great Neck South High School, Southold Junior/Senior High School, Plainedge High School, and North Shore High School in Glen Head -- won top awards at the 13th Annual Long Island Regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition at Hofstra University in Hempstead last month.

In total, more than 1,200 students from 50 tristate area schools participated in the competition, which requires teams to build a robot over a six-week period using a kit of parts.

"All teams demonstrated tremendous teamwork, gracious professionalism and strategic thinking, but these winners went above and beyond," said Ginny Greco, the robotics competition director for the School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, the event's sponsor.

This year's theme, "Rebound Rumble," challenged three-team alliances to compete on a 27-by-54-foot playing field and attempt to earn points by scoring basketballs into hoops. Additional points were earned for balancing robots on bridges.

The advancing teams and their awards are: Longwood, Regional Chairman's Award; Great Neck South, Regional Engineering Inspiration Award; Plainedge, Regional Winner No. 1 Award; Southold, Regional Winner No. 3 Award; North Shore, Rookie All-Star Award.

Other Nassau County high schools to win in various categories were Wheatley School in Old Westbury, Malverne, Hicksville, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK, and W. Tresper Clarke in East Meadow.



St. Baldrick's event

Washington Street Elementary School last month raised about $52,000 -- the highest amount of any Nassau County school -- through a fundraiser to benefit St. Baldrick's Foundation, a cancer charity.

To participate, students and faculty solicited donations and then shaved their heads to demonstrate solidarity with kids who lose hair during treatment.



Family Literacy Night

West Hempstead Union Free School District celebrated the importance of reading last month with a Family Literacy Night that consisted of everything from a steel drum performance by middle schooler Kareem Dingwell to grammar games for elementary students.

A West Hempstead Public Library representative was also on hand to explain the facility's summer programs, while PTA members gave away books and gift cards to Barnes & Noble.



Merit scholarships

Six Nassau County students were among 800 black high school seniors nationwide to receive $2,500 college scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation based on academic excellence, teacher recommendations and SAT scores, among other things.

Winners were Brea Baker of Freeport High School, Toluwani Dawodu of Valley Stream North High School, Phillip Ferguson of Baldwin High School, Isabelle Hazel of Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead, Kyle Parsard of Lynbrook High School and Sabrina Reitman of Great Neck South High School.



Science/engineering fair

Twenty-five students recently beat out 434 science projects from 69 Long Island high schools at the 2012 Long Island Science & Engineering Fair at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

They will advance next month to the International Science & Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh. The international fair will consist of more than 1,500 pupils from 65 countries.

Local students advancing are: Rebecca Alford, Steve Jang, Rajkumar Pammal and Trinity Russell of Commack High School; Nickolas Boroda of Massapequa High School; Nick Dipreta and Kevin Li of Manhasset High School; Brett Gossett of John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore; Kathryn Hochberg and Daphne Superville of George W. Hewlett High School; Andrew Hurst, Zach Klein, Arianne Papa and Jane Smyth of Long Beach High School; Anoj Ilanges of Oceanside High School; Ben Kornick and Kevin Sherwin of Roslyn High School; Bailey Liao and Azaria Zornberg of Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills; Japbani Nanda of W. Tresper Clarke High School in East Meadow; April Pun of Jericho High School; Ruchi Shah of Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma; Bilal Siddiqui of Mepham High School in North Bellmore; Shannon Wetzler of Kings Park High School; and Charles Yu of Wheatley School in Old Westbury.


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