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Long Island School Notebook: Syosset students win national biz contest

Syosset High School students created a virtual business

Syosset High School students created a virtual business that won a national competition coordinated by Virtual Enterprises International and Intuit. Credit: Syosset High School/Zulfi Rizvi

Syosset students recently turned a sweet idea into the winner of a national business competition.

Snack 'N Board, a virtual business created by students in Syosset High School's Virtual Enterprises program, beat out approximately 100 teams to win the Design for Delight Competition held by Virtual Enterprises International in conjunction with global technology firm Intuit. Their business specialized in candy "charcuterie."

The biannual contest, which was held virtually, challenged participants to conduct oral presentations and provide supporting materials to judges addressing their design process. Teams were evaluated on factors ranging from creative problem-solving to their use of technology.

The team was made up of "12 hardworking, like-minded students with a passion for business," said the team's facilitator, Danielle Garrison. "I couldn't be prouder of this well-deserved win."

In addition, nine Virtual Enterprise teams from Long Island placed in the top 10% out of 172 entries nationwide in an elevator-pitch competition that challenged them to deliver 60-second business pitches to a panel of business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Those teams and their school districts were: Wildside Co., Bethpage; Munchie Machine, Carle Place; Global Glimpse, Hewlett-Woodmere; Home Voyage, Islip; Aquaology, Rocky Point; Aquatic Oasis, Sayville; A Cookie in Between, Valley Stream Central; A Helping Hand, West Hempstead; and Opal, Westhampton Beach.


Library media centers

The Connetquot School District recently held ribbon-cutting ceremonies to unveil newly renovated library media centers at the high school and four elementary schools, Cherokee Street, Edith L. Slocum, Edward J. Bosti and Idle Hour. The renovations were part a capital project approved by the community in 2019.

The new media centers include everything from reading nooks to updated technology to makerspace centers that provide students with opportunities for innovation and collaboration. The high school's library also features a tiered instructional area, quiet rooms and sound-absorbing tiles.

"The idea of a library and its design has changed," said John Allen, the district's assistant to the superintendent. "The previous designs did not align to the way that the spaces are now utilized."


Super Science Saturdays

Uniondale School District has launched a Super Science Saturday Academy that strives to motivate students to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering, art and math — also known as STEAM.

The program brings together parents and students to collaborate on projects at home using a science-themed book and materials to replicate experiments. Recent projects focused on building electricity circuits and balloon rocket cars that moved forward using an inflated balloon.

"I enjoy seeing students and parents work as a team to investigate science concepts through STEAM activities," said Arthur Registre, the district's K-12 director of science. "While they are bonding with their parents, the students develop critical thinking skills and a lifelong love of science."


Coca-Cola Scholars

Twenty Nassau County students are among 1,617 semifinalists nationwide in the 2022 Coca-Cola Scholars Program based on their leadership skills, academic achievements and community service. Semifinalist applications are being reviewed with 250 to be named regional finalists and 150 becoming Coca-Cola Scholars who will receive $20,000 scholarships.

Semifinalists and their high schools are: Michael Crespo, Chaminade; Emily Leicht, Division Avenue; Iris Cho, Rosanna Gao, Great Neck South; Maeryam Nasari, Hicksville; Corinne Dicpinigaitis, Joshua Dong and Harrison Kane, Jericho; Christopher Prainito, John F. Kennedy; Xian Scott, Lawrence; Devin Moore, Long Island Lutheran; Sophia Stefanakis, Manhasset; Mikah Bein, Oceanside; Kyle Kavully, Plainedge; Tori Famularo, Sacred Heart Academy; Ethan Chiu, Syosset; Emily Monfort and Josh Nixon, Valley Stream Central; Craig Papajohn-Shaw, Valley Stream North; and Nicholas Espinosa, W. Tresper Clarke.


ERASE Racism

Four Long Island students — Asha Brown of West Hempstead High School, Annika Duhaney of Malverne High School, Gabriella Pesantez of George W. Hewlett High School, and Lakxshanna Raveendran of Commack High School — won $500 college scholarships in the "Raise Your Voice" Student Essay Contest coordinated by the Syosset-based nonprofit ERASE Racism.

The contest focused on discussing the importance of teaching students about the impact of racism throughout U.S. history.

"Teaching students about the slavery that occurred right here on Long Island and using examples such as the housing discrimination in Levittown and how redlining was a disgracefully common practice in our own backyards, will help students realize how much discrimination effects the futures of people of color," Pesantez wrote.


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