Longwood Junior High’s winning team in the Suffolk middle school...

Longwood Junior High’s winning team in the Suffolk middle school math tournament beat two dozen teams last month at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Credit: Museum of Mathematics

Longwood Junior High School has taken the crown as the county's math champs at the middle school level.

The five-student team -- Matt DaSilva, Roujing "Jenny" Fang, John Kazubowski, Yunjie "Jack" Su and Maciej Wlodek -- beat two dozen teams last month to win the Third Annual Suffolk County Middle School Math Tournament at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

The tournament, co-sponsored by the lab and the Museum of Mathematics, consisted of individual testing, a team competition and a mix-up round in which pupils were paired with peers from other schools.

"I knew we had a good shot," said Janet Smiles, who co-advised the Longwood team with Lorraine DiBartolo. "These kids are talented. I'd put them head-to-head against anyone."

The mix-up round had a first-place tie between two teams. One team consisted of Kim Cataudella of Harbor Country Day School in St. James, Jonathan Rizzi of Seneca Middle School in Holbrook, Justin Knowles of J. Taylor Finley Middle School in Huntington, Robert Rock of Accompsett Middle School in Smithtown, and Matt Tomko of Sayville Middle School.

The other team consisted of Bradley Zhou of Accompsett, Ariel Leong of Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School in East Setauket, Sachin Sharma of Sagamore Middle School in Holtsville, Wlodek of Longwood Junior High School, and Mike Barr of Hauppauge Middle School.

Individual winners at the seventh- and eighth-grade levels were Tomko of Sayville and Su of Longwood, respectively. Gelinas Junior High and Nesaquake Middle School in St. James were second and third in the team round, respectively.



Pi Day

Copiague Middle School students put their brainpower to good use last month when they participated in various math-themed activities in conjunction with Pi Day on March 14.

In one activity children competed against each other to see who could recite, in order, the most digits of Pi. Pi is a mathematical constant that begins with the numbers 3.14. Seventh-grader Cristian Dilone recited 101 numbers. Teachers also wore T-shirts displaying Pi's digits, and pupils were challenged to position them in proper order.

"Any way you can make a math class exciting is always a good thing," Copiague math teacher Melody Cesare said.



Principal's buzz cut

Roanoke Avenue Elementary School principal Tom Payton recently had the word "READ" buzzed into his haircut after students met a challenge to read for 60,000 minutes outside of school during a one-week period. Platinum Images in Riverhead supplied the barber.

"I don't mind taking a pie in the face or getting a buzz cut if it helps them learn to read," Payton said of his students.


LEGO Tournament

Forty-two teams from local elementary and middle schools recently competed at the 2012 Long Island FIRST LEGO League Tournament sponsored by the School-Business Partnerships of Long Island and Longwood Central School District. FIRST is an acronym representing For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

This year's tournament, titled Food Factor Challenge, required teams to build autonomous robots that were "tasked with the safe transportation and preparation of food," tournament officials said.

Suffolk County's winning teams in various categories were: RoboPhantoms of Bayport, Champion's 2nd Place Award; Peaced Together of Bayport, Mechanical Design 1st Place Award and Robot Performance 2nd Place Award; Awesome AHAPers of Dix Hills, Innovative Solution 1st Place; Longwood Lions Green of Middle Island, Teamwork 1st Place, Copiague Robotics, Judge's Award; Viking BYTES of Smithtown, Presentation 2nd Place Award; and Let Me Think of Huntington Station, Inspiration 2nd Place Award.



LI Youth Summit

More than 200 high school students from across Long Island explored innovative solutions to socioeconomic and medical issues affecting Long Island last month at the 2012 Long Island Youth Summit at Dowling College in Oakdale.

Students worked with experts in various fields to address issues such as the dangers of social networking and the use of renewable energy. The keynote speaker was Michael Dowling, president and CEO of North Shore-LIJ Health System, who emphasized the importance of leadership in creating positive changes within local communities.

"A future U.S. president may be in this room, a future governor of New York may be in this room, a future president of a large health system may be in this room," Dowling said.

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