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Suffolk School Notebook: Great Neck South team wins Science Bowl

A team from Great Neck South High School

A team from Great Neck South High School won this year's Long Island Regional High School Science Bowl, which was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory

A team from Great Neck South High School has taken the top spot for the second consecutive year in the Long Island Regional High School Science Bowl.

Great Neck South faced off against 23 other teams in the "Jeopardy!"-style competition that featured topics including biology, math and physics. It is typically held at Brookhaven National Laboratory, but was held virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For winning, the team — Bradley He, Matthew Tsui, David Wang, Jansen Wong and Anthony Zhan — will compete virtually this spring in the national finals.

"I think a big factor in our success was our team chemistry," said Zhan, the team's captain. "We play really well as a team and as a group of friends."

The bowl's second-place team was Viraj Jayam, Freddy Lin, Victor Li and Avinash Reddy of The Wheatley School in Old Westbury; the third-place team was Neal Carpino, Gabriel Choi, Matthew Chen, Ivan Ge and Prisha Singhal of Ward Melville High School in East Setauket.

This year's event also featured a Cybersecurity Challenge for those who did not advance to the bowl's final elimination rounds. The challenge's winner was Jacob Leshnower of Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills, while Anant Srinivasan and Ishnaan Singh of Commack High School placed second and third, respectively.


Awards of Excellence

Commack High School students won three Awards of Excellence — the most of any school — in the 13th Annual Suffolk County High School Arts Competition, which was sponsored by Suffolk County Community College.

Winners and their high schools were: Lexi Baboukis, Luke Bourren and Victoria Rodgers, Commack; Kelli Karlin and Sarah Piccinini, East Islip; Kathryn Silk, Hauppauge; Grace Westerlind, Northport; and Ella Henson, West Babylon.

A virtual exhibition, which consisted of 130 students countywide, will be running online through March 12. Mediums included everything from digital photographs to oil paintings.


Cultural Cooking Night

Washington Primary School has launched a monthly Family Cultural Cooking Night to bring fun to families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each family that registers receives a kit with the required ingredients and can follow along via Zoom or Google Meet.

The initiative is being spearheaded by parent Leah Van Horn with assistance from the school's Shared Decision Committee. The Van Horn family also hosted the first night, which attracted more than 50 participants and led viewers in the preparation of American apple pie dumplings and hot chocolate.

"It is an opportunity for families to gather and enjoy time with each other while experiencing the smells, tastes and sounds of the many countries we celebrate as Washington Primary School," Principal Michelle Richards said.


Celebrating Black history

Many schools hosted educational events and activities last month to celebrate Black History Month.

In Huntington, librarians at the district's primary schools created a virtual museum of Black history featuring multimedia exhibits that enabled students to do everything from hear the voice of Aretha Franklin to listen to the words of Nelson Mandela. The initiative was spearheaded by Washington Primary School librarian Rebecca Kraus.

In Riverhead, Riley Avenue Elementary School students Ayden Hennings, Jessica Lopez Valasquez and Julia Viola researched significant individuals in Black history and recorded themselves speaking about their findings. The recordings were played on successive mornings over the school's public-address system.

In Westhampton Beach, the high school's National Honor Society researched historical Black figures and posted their biographies — as well as photos and quotes — in the school's main stairwell.


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