Forty-four Long Island students were winners in this year's New York State Science & Engineering Fair, which was held virtually because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The project from Manhasset High School juniors Mir Zayid Alam and Taylor Fox titled "Relating Major Depressive Disorder to Circadian Signaling in Drosophila melanogaster" was one of four statewide to receive best in fair (highest honors). They were also named finalists for the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.
The fair's high honors winners, who were also named international finalists, and their high schools were: Ethan Sontarp and Jordan Walsh, Commack; Marvia Pressoir, Elmont; Blake Lippman, George W. Hewlett; Tyler Bissoondial, John F. Kennedy; Riya Patel, Jericho; Mary Sotiryadis, North Shore; Kreena Totala, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK; Giselle Rasquinha, Syosset; and Manav Bansal, Wheatley.
The international fair, however, was canceled because of the coronavirus. It was slated to be held in Anaheim on May 10 to 15.
Long Island's other high honors winners and their high schools were: Candace Arneaud, Kimberly Liao, Izza Malik, and Rohan Surana, Commack; Damien Edele and Christopher Jannotta, Eastport-South Manor; Christopher Alexander and Hannah Meikle, Elmont; Shourav Saha, Great Neck South; Sari Strizik, Half Hollow Hills East; Benjamin Alexander and Miles Kim, Half Hollow Hills West; William Hu, Richard Ren, Vyom Shah and Katherine Zhang, Jericho; Sanjna Kedia and Emily Ma, Manhasset; Kyra McCreery and Kate Weseley-Jones, North Shore; Danielle Levanti, Northport; Eshwin Varghese, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK; Maansi Shroff and Katherine Winter, Paul D. Schreiber; Foyez Alauddin, Noelle Chung and Justin Lu, Trinity Lutheran School; Najalia Singh, Valley Stream Central; Enyo Okeoma, Ward Melville; Matthew Daleo and Evan Lockwood, Westhampton Beach; and Karen Li, Wheatley.
'World of 7 Billion'
Mae Curiale, Luna Espinosa and Ava Varasno of North Shore Middle School placed second in the Ninth Annual "World of 7 Billion" video contest sponsored by the nonprofit Population Connection. They won $250.
This year's contest, which attracted more than 5,000 students from 35 countries, asked them to explore population growth as it relates to one of three challenges: improving climate resiliency, sustaining water systems and ensuring economic opportunities.
Participants also had to include at least one idea for a sustainable solution.
Virtual Spirit Week
Many schools have been spreading positivity amid the coronavirus outbreak through virtual spirit weeks.
In Herricks, the district hosted various theme days for its elementary schools: Denton Avenue's days included a Music Monday in which pupils played instruments from home, and Searingtown's days included a Hats Off to Emergency Workers Day, in which kids wore their favorite headgear.
In Locust Valley, children dressed in different outfits daily — such as pajamas and sports jerseys — and engaged in such activities as breakfast with the family, reading in an unusual spot, and doing household chores.
In Carle Place, Cherry Lane Elementary School's spirit week included a Workout Wednesday and a Crafty Friday.
Eighty-three Long Island schools were among 582 statewide named 2019-20 Recognition Schools by the New York State Education Department for their high achievement, student growth and graduation rate during the 2018-19 school year.
The Commack and Garden City school districts had four schools earn the designation, which was the most on Long Island, while the Bellmore-Merrick and Great Neck districts had three designated schools. The East Islip, East Meadow, Elwood, Half Hollow Hills, Herricks, Hewlett-Woodmere, Island Trees, Levittown, Roslyn, Sachem and Smithtown districts had two designated schools, while 46 districts had one designated school.
The Academy Charter School in Hempstead was also among this year's designated schools.