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Nassau, Suffolk teams win county mock trial contests

Massapequa High School's mock trial team was this

Massapequa High School's mock trial team was this year's Nassau County champions. The team placed fourth in the competition at the state level. Credit: Massapequa School District

Teams from Massapequa and Huntington high schools are this year’s mock trial champions for Nassau and Suffolk counties, respectively.

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 at the state level last month in Albany.

Huntington’s team defeated Ward Melville High School from East Setauket to take the top spot in their regional championship’s final round at the Alfonse M. D’Amato U.S. Courthouse in Central Islip. Huntington took third place statewide.

“They’re an incredible group,” Massapequa’s mock trial adviser Daniel Bachman said of his team. “It’s been a pleasure watching them grow and mature.”

This year’s fictional case involved a student arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after a teacher witnessed him pushing a peer. Teams acted as the defense or prosecution to demonstrate their knowledge of law and courtroom procedures, with judging handled by local attorneys and judges.

The Nassau and Suffolk county bar associations coordinated the tournaments for Nassau and Suffolk, respectively. The state tournament was sponsored by the New York State Bar Association.


National History Bowl

A four-student team from The Wheatley School — Rahul Ajmera, Patrick Brady, Peter Cuomo and Frederick Lin — placed first in the Junior Varsity small school division of the 2018 National History Bowl.

The buzzer-based history competition was held in Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Virginia, in late April.

As victors, the team qualified to compete in the 2018 International History Olympiad, scheduled July 14-22 in Berlin.

To reach the national level, the team first topped 18 others in the Junior Varsity History Bowl portion of the 2018 Long Island Winter History Bee & Bowl, which was held at Lynbrook High School.

The National History Bee and Bowl was sponsored by the History Channel and education and trade publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


NY History Day

Twenty-four Nassau County students were among first-place winners in various categories of this year’s New York History Day, a competition that asks them to explore local, state, national and world history.

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.

First-place winners were: Alison Chou, Selina Chiang, Karan Kaknia, Grace Kim, Maggie Lau, Felisha Ma, Gurvir Singh, Emily Wei, David Xiang and David Zhang, Herricks High School; Madeline Heyman, Michael Heyman, Madison Honig and Sydney Honig, Woodmere Middle School; Karam Abukoush, Joanna Chen, Michelle Dong, Madison Grady, Anna Jang, Grace Lee, Chu-Yin Weng, Naomi Yu and Eric Zimmerman, Jericho Middle School; and Caroline Hsu, Harry B. Thompson Middle School in Syosset.


ExploraVision winners

Teams from Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School, St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington and Ward Melville High School in East Setauket 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.

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, while St. Anthony’s team proposed an emotion recognition device that helps autistic individuals better communicate. Ward Melville’s team explored the efficiency of polychiral multi-walled carbon nanotube solar cells.

The competition, which is coordinated by the National Science Teachers Association and Toshiba, received more than 4,600 entries, including 746 from New York.

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