Students at Park Avenue Elementary School in North Bellmore display...

Students at Park Avenue Elementary School in North Bellmore display pumpkins they created to look like storybook characters. Credit: North Bellmore School District

The arrival of autumn proved to be an effective learning tool for kids across Long Island.

Local schools have hosted everything from fall-themed art projects to science experiments involving apples and pumpkins in an effort to bring the changing seasons into the classroom.

Bayville Intermediate School students participated in a Halloween-themed geography contest by using clues on costumes worn by teachers to guess which state he or she represented. Costumes ranged from a steamboat for Mississippi to a Hershey’s Kiss for Pennsylvania.

“We know that on Halloween children in this age group are not focused on their lessons,” Bayville Principal Scott McElhiney said. “The teachers came up with a successful way to incorporate learning into the day while letting the students enjoy Halloween at the same time.”

In Plainview, kindergartners at Kramer Lane Elementary School in the Bethpage School District learned about the properties of apples — including their colors, sizes and tastes — and made apple cider under the guidance of Nassau BOCES instructors. Meanwhile, fourth-graders at Old Country Road Elementary School in Hicksville made applesauce and measured apples using fractions and line plots.

In North Merrick, students created pumpkins to look like storybook characters as part of a contest at Park Avenue Elementary School. Characters had to be from stories that were books before they were movies, such as “Charlotte’s Web” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

In Glen Head, local firefighters used a ladder truck to drop pumpkins and allow students to collect data on acceleration and gravity at North Shore High School.


New superintendent

David Schneider has been appointed superintendent of the Bethpage school district, effective July 1. He will replace Terrence Clark, who is retiring after 32 years in the district.

Schneider has served the past four years as the district’s assistant superintendent for instruction and technology. Before that, he was principal of the district’s John F. Kennedy Middle School and an assistant principal at Merrick Avenue Middle School.

“I look forward to continuing the district’s tradition of excellence and maintaining the high standards that have made our schools so successful,” Schneider said.


Notable Submission

New Hyde Park Memorial High School freshmen Kathleen Gray and Saba Gulzar were winners of a Notable Submission Award in Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs’ 2017 Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition. They were the sole award-winners from New York.

The competition challenged students to design and implement a campaign educating the public about marine debris and inspiring action. Gray and Gulzar’s campaign, titled “Saving the Earth One Bottle at a Time,” aimed at cleaning local parks and raising funds for research projects beneficial to the environment.

“I never realized how much trash we were capable of polluting our neighborhood with until I actually attempted to clean it up,” Gulzar said.


STEM+ Computing

Five Nassau County high schools — Bethpage, Freeport, Massapequa, Roosevelt and South Side in Rockville Centre — along with Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead have partnered with Hofstra University as part of its STEM+ Computing Program, which is designed to help students improve skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The three-year program, which was launched through a $1.6 million grant to the university from the National Science Foundation, is a collaboration among five professors who will train teachers in coding and help them develop an enhanced biology curriculum.

“We are always searching for new ways to enrich our STEM program, and we are honored that Hofstra University has selected us for this exclusive program,” Roosevelt Superintendent Marnie Hazelton said.

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