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Patchogue-Medford, Plainview-Old Bethpage, Bethpage H.S. teams win in pitch contest

Patchogue-Medford High School's EvoTech firm took first place

Patchogue-Medford High School's EvoTech firm took first place and won a $1,000 prize last month during an elevator pitch competition at LIU Post. Credit: Patchogue-Medford School District

Students from Patchogue-Medford High School and Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School placed first and second, respectively, in a local competition that challenged them to pitch a fictional firm and its products in 60 seconds.

Patchogue-Medford’s EvoTech firm and Plainview-Old Bethpage’s Elluminate took the top spots over 89 others last month in the 2017 Virtual Enterprises International Elevator Pitch Competition at LIU Post in Brookville. Pitches covered topics such as company goals, new products and purchasing.

EvoTech and Elluminate received awards of $1,000 and $500, respectively, which will be used for future Virtual Enterprises materials. Third place went to Bethpage High School’s PetPair firm, which received $250.

“It was phenomenal,” Patchogue-Medford business teacher Rich Butzke said of EvoTech’s achievement. “The kids worked very hard and got a little taste of success.”

EvoTech’s pitch was delivered by senior Erin Winn and introduced three new products: a waterproof backpack that wirelessly charges devices and has Bluetooth speakers, an exhaust pipe attachment that filters out toxins, and a temperature-controlled hoodie.

Elluminate’s pitch was given by senior Karissa Eisinger and introduced an all-natural energy drink that uses Stevia and green tea extract to replace sugar and caffeine.

“To have come in second is amazing for us, considering it’s our first year,” said Gina Farrell, Plainview-Old Bethpage’s business teacher.

PetPair’s pitch, delivered by senior Marco Cunha, introduced a high-tech collar that performs tasks such as tracking a pet’s location and measuring its heart rate.


Medical Career Day

Islip High School hosted its first-ever Medical Career Day last month, with more than 30 booths representing departments within the Northwell Health system. The event was sponsored by the district’s School to Career Partnership.

Activities included teaching students how to correctly perform CPR and examining each other’s skin through a dermatologic device.

“The students learned that the medical field is not made up merely of doctors and nurses, but also includes important ancillary jobs,” said Matt Christiansen, Islip’s science and careers coordinator.


Foundation grants

The Port Jefferson school district has several new educational resources courtesy of grants from the Port Jefferson Royal Educational Foundation, a nonprofit that provides funds to the system.

One new addition is a raised garden bed at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School that allows the Garden Club and life skills classes to study plant life cycles and sample produce. Another is a GaGa Ball Pit, a teamwork-themed game similar to dodgeball held inside an octagon-shaped enclosure.

Other recent grants were for chess sets and a chess clock, a sensory room, and a school store on wheels at the district’s middle school. In total, the foundation has awarded more than $10,000 since last school year.


Hispanic Heritage Month

Schools across Long Island held cultural activities and assemblies in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which was from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

Patchogue-Medford High School’s Hispanic Heritage Club and Native Language Arts classes hosted the school’s first-ever celebration and welcomed guest speaker Margarita Espada, founder of the Central Islip nonprofit Teatro Yerbabruja. Certificates of recognition were presented to Hispanic faculty, parents and students for their service to the school.

In Amityville, students at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School learned about the history of sugar skulls, a traditional symbol from the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. They also designed their own using markers, glitter and tissue paper.

Bellport Middle School hosted an evening of festivities that included student presentations as well as music, dance and foods representative of Hispanic culture.

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