Thirty-five local students placed in top spots at the 2017 New York State History Day in Cooperstown to advance to the national contest next month.
The competition, sponsored by the New York State Historical Association, challenged students in grades 6-12 to research historical topics through libraries, archives, museums and oral interviews. This year’s theme, “Taking a Stand in History,” attracted projects on figures ranging from women’s rights activist Alice Paul to tennis legend Arthur Ashe.
Students competed at the Long Island level at Hofstra University, which drew more than 600 entries. The top two or three winners in each category advanced to the state competition in April.
Long Island students making it to the national contest are: Emma Clapps, Hauppauge High School; Jalaj Mehta and Alex Vasilakopoulos, Hauppauge Middle School; Aiza Bhuiyan, Prerna Chaudhary, Emse Chen, Amanda Chiang, Caitlin Chou, Siri Kavuri, Alisa Liu, Felisha Ma, Eunice Oh, Rushikesh Patel, Shivesh Patel and Kunal Suri, Herricks High School; Aarya Agarwal, Abhinav Goyal, Aditya Lodha and Prameet Shah, Herricks Middle School; Brianna Kovit, Jonny Miller and Rachel Miller, Hewlett High School; Alyssa Befumo and Aidan Forbes, Huntington High School; Sara Chan, Catherine Kim, Allison Lee and Naomi Yu, Jericho Middle School; Greg Cantwell, North Shore Middle School; Joseph Doria, Jack Keys, Emma Melnikov and Neil Shah, The Wheatley School; and Julia Klayman and Arilla Ziarno, Woodmere Middle School.
The National History Day competition is scheduled for June 11-15 in Maryland.
NEW HYDE PARK
Speak Truth to Power
New Hyde Park Memorial High School students placed second and third nationwide in the Speak Truth to Power Student Video Contest, which challenged them to use creative storytelling to teach others about a human rights issue.
The second-place video — created by Jessica Castro, Navdeep Kaur, Deepthy Nair and Jada Seto — was about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education and youngest-ever Nobel laureate. The third-place video — created by Dillion Dinko, Safwan Kahn and Mary Peristeris — was about the late Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.
The contest, which drew entries from 800-plus students, was sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, the Tribeca Film Institute and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a nonprofit charitable organization.
A Valley Stream Central High School team was the grand-prize winner of Northwell Health’s 3rd Annual Spark! Challenge, which asked students to create an advertisement and presentation about their experiences visiting a part of the health system.
Valley Stream Central’s students went to the Orzac Center for Rehabilitation, where they witnessed a simulation of a patient’s post-hospital care treatment. Their presentation emphasized the positive role a physical therapist plays in a patient’s recovery process.
Members of the team, which won $9,000, were Aleena Abraham, Maheen Babar, Kayla Dhanipersaud, Melisha Goneska, Patricia Joseph, Ronie Rocca and Khadija Zahid.
Teams from Bayville Intermediate School and Commack High School were among eight national winners in the 25th Annual ExploraVision Competition, which asked students to imagine a technology that might exist in 20 years.
Two Bayville teams grabbed national first prizes in the grades K-3 and 4-6 categories. The K-3 team proposed shirts made of fabric with buoyant properties to help prevent drownings, while the grades 4-6 team conceived of robotic bivalves to filter cancer-causing chemicals from contaminated rivers. Commack’s project, which placed second in the grades 7-9 category, proposed modifying toilets to analyze human waste and check a person’s internal bacterial populations.
Bayville team members each received a $10,000 saving bond, while Commack team members each received a $5,000 savings bond.
The contest was coordinated by the National Science Teachers Association and Toshiba.