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Long IslandEducation

STEAM-powered learning makes science practical

Third-graders at Landing Elementary School in Glen Cove

Third-graders at Landing Elementary School in Glen Cove participated in a STEAM activity that challenged them to examine limes and later identify them based on their initial observations. Nasean Barnes, left, and Andon Esteves measure a lime with a string to determine if it was theirs. Photo Credit: Glen Cove School District

Many students jumped into the learning process this school year with a full head of steam — or, rather, STEAM.

The learning format for science, technology, engineering, art and math is intended to show kids how select concepts can be used in the real world.

In Dix Hills, nearly 200 children have been working in a three-story STEAM laboratory built five years ago at Park Shore Country Day Camp & School, which attracts students from more than 40 districts. September lessons included racing apples down a ramp to learn about gravity and handling sea life in the lab’s marine touch tank.

“We’ve adapted to the times and to what children need in their lives,” said Bob Budah, co-owner of Park Shore and creator of its Extreme STEAM Science Kids program. “I believe any time a child is constructing something using their hands and mind, they’re learning.”

In Garden City, one of the school year’s first activities was a STEAM-themed harvest for first-graders at Hemlock Elementary School. Students tasted tomatoes from the school’s new garden, gathered mint leaves to brew flavored water, and harvested zucchini that was made into zucchini bread for snack time by Principal Audrey Bellovin.

In North Bellmore, students at Newbridge Road Elementary School invited relatives for a STEAM activity as part of a “Sit in Your Child’s Seat Day.” Activities included studying the chemical makeup of coins and whether pumpkins float.

The Bayville Intermediate School’s gym was transformed into a STEAM Museum with exhibits challenging kids to build an arch out of foam blocks and operate a light show powered by bikes, among other things.

In East Rockaway, students “will be applying content knowledge in meaningful ways that are applicable to the ever-changing world of technology,” said Michelle Healy, a teacher at Centre Avenue Elementary School, which began its first six-week cycle of STEAM classes with computer coding.


New middle school principal

Daniel Nehlsen is principal of Howard T. Herber Middle School, replacing Steven Gilhuley, who is assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and educational services for the Malverne district.

Nehlsen most recently spent three years as the school’s assistant principal. He also has been a math teacher, dean and technology director in the district.

“I look forward to working with parents, faculty and staff in order to execute continued growth in the areas of curriculum, character and college and career readiness,” Nehlsen said.


New principals

The Westbury school district has two new principals: David Zimbler at Westbury High School and Fernando Agramonte at Westbury Middle School.

Zimbler, who served the past five years as the middle school’s principal, replaced Manuel Arias, who retired. Agramonte previously served as an assistant principal and world languages director in West Islip.

“Professionally, I can continue to lead the high school in the positive direction they are heading,” Zimbler said. “Additionally, as a student-centered administrator, I have the opportunity to guide six different grade levels of students I have supported as principal to the graduation stage and be a part of their educational journey to the next chapter of their life.”


Education Partners

Nassau BOCES welcomes nominations for its 11th annual Education Partner Awards, honoring those making a “measurable impact on public education on Long Island.”

Nominations can be in six categories: Education Partner (open to all), Nassau BOCES staffers, organizations, school board members, teachers and students. A brief essay explaining why the person or organization is being nominated is required.

Nominations can be made at The deadline is Nov. 4.


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