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Message in a bottle: LI school's science experiment found 47 years later

This bottle, with the handwritten note inside, recently

This bottle, with the handwritten note inside, recently was discovered on the shore of Bellport Bay by East Patchogue resident Susan Hennes. The William Floyd school district traced the bottle to a 1972 science experiment by students of retired teacher William Kiriazis of East Hampton. Credit: William Floyd school district

East Patchogue resident Susan Hennes was walking along the shore of Bellport Bay, searching the sand for beach glass and coins, when she discovered a glass bottle with a metal swing-top cap. Inside, she found a folded-up note.

The handwritten message, dated Dec. 1, 1972, explained that the bottle was a science experiment from students at William Floyd High School who were studying the currents around Fire Island.

Hennes, 75, called a friend who works as a security guard at William Floyd High School, district spokesman James Montalto said Wednesday.

Hennes next was connected with Montalto, who started contacting former William Floyd science teachers. He found William Kiriazis, 75, a retired science teacher who lives in East Hampton.

Kiriazis told Montalto he "vividly" remembered the project and was surprised the bottle had been discovered 47 years later.

On Thursday, Hennes and Kiriazis will meet at the end of Bay Avenue in Brookhaven, near where she found the bottle.

Montalto will join Christine Rosado, current director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for the William Floyd school district, to learn more about the experiment and determine what students may be able to learn from its discovery.

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