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Nassau School Notebook: LI's winners in Science & Engineering Fair

The first-place winners of this year's Long Island

The first-place winners of this year's Long Island Science & Engineering Fair at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Credit: Maria Zeitlin

Twenty-six Long Island students were first-place winners in this year's Long Island Science & Engineering Fair.

The winners took the top spots out of 419 projects in 16 categories ranging from animal sciences to translational medical science over the course of two rounds at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. At least 25% of projects in each category advanced to the second round on March 12.

The first-place winners qualified for the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair, where they would have competed for nearly $5 million in prizes. That event, which was slated for May 10-15 in Anaheim, California, has been canceled because of he coronavirus outbreak.

This year's first-place winners and their high schools were: Ruchitha Channapatna, Suchitha Channapatna and Maya Lillian Maciel-Seidman, Bethpage; Biproprosad Das and Melissa Oz, Connetquot; Anna Elizabeth Suske, Eastport-South Manor; Rithika Narayan, Elwood; Ian Carlson Bailey, Garden City; Megan Gole and Tong Ye, Half Hollow Hills East; Poojan Pandya, Half Hollow Hills West; Sejal Gupta, Hicksville; Emily Gan, Suchir Misra, Vyom Shah and Davesh Reddy Valagolam, Jericho; Katherine June St. George, John F. Kennedy; Samantha Chen, Emma Wang and Ella Rose Wesson, Manhasset; Jacqueline Rose Albert and Hailey Edelman, Syosset; Nabiha Subzwari, Valley Stream South; Abishek Ravindran, W. Tresper Clarke; and William Hong Sun and Leo Takemaru, Ward Melville.


Groundbreaking ceremony

Lynbrook High School hosted a groundbreaking ceremony last month before the coronavirus outbreak for a 33,274-square-foot two-story extension. The project is being funded through the district's 2017 bond referendum.

The first floor will feature a school store, three art and music rooms, and an innovation lab; the second floor will have five new classrooms, including two for family and consumer science classes and one for the career development program. 

"We have gone through many challenges in trying to figure out how we can best support the future of the high school," Lynbrook Superintendent Melissa Burak said. "From looking at the needs to the curriculum changes, we want to bring the best to current and future Lynbrook students."


C.O.P.E. Club

Sanford H. Calhoun High School students recently launched a new initiative to improve mental health for their peers. The club, called C.O.P.E. (Collectively Overcoming Problems Effectively), provides pupils with opportunities to create a more united school family by forming friendships and growing existing ones.

Club activities include fundraisers, peer mentoring and learning stress-relieving mechanisms. Before the coronavirus outbreak, meetings were being held on Wednesdays, which coincided with the school's weekly wellness day. 

"This group lets students play a part in how our school handles mental health," said Sanford H. Calhoun junior and club officer Emma Bhansingh.


Competition canceled

The New York State History competition, which was slated for April 27 in upstate Cooperstown, has been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic also canceled last month's Long Island History Day competition at Hofstra University.

"The Executive Board painstakingly deliberated to try to keep this year's contest intact and prepared a well-designed virtual contest following the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in New York," Long Island History Day's academic coordinator John Staudt said in a statement. "Due to the escalating emergency, new state-imposed social distancing protocols, islandwide school closures, and the cancellation of state-level competitions, all of which have compromised our ability to run a fair contest, there were no viable alternatives but to cancel the 2020 regional contest."

The competition challenges participants to research historical topics of their choice in one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website.


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