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Nassau School Notebook: Baldwin team wins Medical Marvels

Baldwin Senior High School's team, from left, Thalia

Baldwin Senior High School's team, from left, Thalia Kontoleon, Reyna Palmer, Jessica Darcy and Rochelle Saunders, won this year's Medical Marvels Competition. Credit: Baldwin Senior High School

A team from Baldwin Senior High School won the top spot in a local competition that challenged participants to share their ideas to stop gun violence.

The all-female team — Jessica Darcy, Thalia Kontoleon, Reyna Palmer and Rochelle Saunders — placed first last month in this year's Medical Marvels Competition, which is coordinated by the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and Northwell Health's Center for Workforce Readiness.

The ninth annual science fair, which was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, asked freshman and sophomores to create three-minute videos that included a scientific research assessment, a technological component and a public health policy strategy to detail how to curb gun violence statewide. More than 150 students participated from 18 schools across Long Island.

Baldwin's team presented a revamped solution to gun laws by proposing legislation that included mental health screenings, drug tests and background checks — as well as safety courses for anyone trying to purchase guns.

"We are extremely proud of this dedicated and hardworking group of students," Baldwin School District Superintendent Shari L. Camhi said. "Not only did our high school students successfully present a solution to a real-world issue, but they did so under extraordinary circumstances."

Teams from New Hyde Park Memorial High School and John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore placed second and third, respectively.

Videos were evaluated using a five-point scale rubric on such qualities as innovation, clarity and approach.


Poster contest winners

Megan Schaefer, a fourth-grader at Glen Head Elementary School, and London Lampasona, a second-grader at Dogwood Elementary School in Smithtown, were among a dozen winners in this year's New York State "Kids Safe Online" Poster Contest, coordinated by the New York State Office of Information Technology Services.

This year's contest received more than 1,000 participants statewide. Winners advance to the national level and will be featured in the 2022 New York State "Kids Safe Online" calendar.

"Students' interpretation of the integration of cybersecurity into their lives always provides a fresh perspective," said the state's chief information security officer Karen Sorady.


Hackathon winners

Manhasset Middle School's ManH4CKset Potatoes team was the first-place winner in the junior division of the 2021 Code Conquest Hackathon, coordinated by KidOYO, a nonprofit initiative that produces educational infrastructure. Mineola School District's Mineola Masterminds and Syosset School District's SYO Pythons tied for second place.

The third annual competition introduced students to creative computing challenges through team-based events in such programming languages as Java, Python and Scratch. To win, teams took over territories that bordered their own — similar to the board game Risk — when their project was deemed better than the one holding the territory.

Manhasset's team members were Casey Chan, Catherine Chen, Jonathan Chen, Bryce Gibbons, Tyler Hadziyianis, Jonas Kim, Alex Lu, Stephanie Sze and Benjamin Yang.


AASA president-elect

Baldwin School District Superintendent Shari L. Camhi has been named the 2021-22 president-elect of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, an organization that represents more than 13,000 public school superintendents nationwide. She will begin her term on July 1.

Before becoming Baldwin's superintendent in 2014, Camhi was assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Lindenhurst School District. She has also served as an assistant superintendent for secondary instruction in Glen Cove and an assistant superintendent for secondary instruction in Mineola.

"One of my top priorities in this new role will be to narrow the digital divide that exists in our country in order to provide equitable access to each and every student," Camhi said.


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