Sixth-graders Lindsay Hamburger, Johanna Kim and Lauren DiPierri, from Plainview-...

Sixth-graders Lindsay Hamburger, Johanna Kim and Lauren DiPierri, from Plainview- Old Bethpage Middle School, were regional winners of the ExploraVision Competition. Credit: Paula Engel

Three Long Island teams are regional winners in a competition that challenges students to imagine a technology that might exist in 20 years.

Teams from Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School, St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington and Ward Melville High School in East Setauket are among groups of six regional winners in categories for grades 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12, respectively, of the 26th annual ExploraVision Competition.

The contest’s 24 regional winners now are competing in the national phase, which asks teams to build webpages and short videos, with national winners to be announced in early May. First-place teams in each category win $10,000, and second-place groups win $5,000.

This year’s competition received more than 4,600 entries, including 746 from New York. It is coordinated by the National Science Teachers Association and Toshiba.

“This is a team of really independent and innovative girls, mature beyond their years,” Plainview-Old Bethpage’s Project Challenge teacher Paula Engel said of the school’s winning team.

The group — sixth-graders Lauren DiPierri, Lindsay Hamburger and Johanna Kim — proposed using nano-sponges and nano-needles to create a healthy balance of mucus within the organs of a person with cystic fibrosis.

St. Anthony’s team of freshmen Michael Doboli and Andrew Mullan proposed an emotion recognition device that helps individuals on the autism spectrum better communicate with others.

The Ward Melville team of juniors Kian Abbott, Jeffrey Casey, Darren Tung and Abhinav Yadav explored the efficiency of polychiral multi-walled carbon nanotube solar cells.


Lighthouse School District

The Bellmore school district is one of two school systems nationwide to earn the distinction of being a Lighthouse School District through the “Leader in Me” program of FranklinCovey, a Utah-based provider of time management training and assessment services.

The designation means all of the district’s schools have achieved “Lighthouse status.”

The recognition is a result of the district’s development, training and practice of leadership principles and core values incorporated into its Bellmore Stars Character Development Program, district officials said.

“This is a great honor for the district and a wonderful recognition for the entire Bellmore community,” Bellmore Superintendent Joseph Famularo said.



The East Meadow school district recently hosted an inaugural STEAM Night that included more than 70 educational activities for children in kindergarten through eighth grade and their families.

About 100 district teachers helped plan and coordinate the evening’s events.

Activities included learning how to code robots, turning ordinary objects into musical instruments, and examining constellations using an inflatable Starlab.

Attendees learned about projects being researched by the district’s high school students and careers available in science, technology, engineering, art and math.

“Parents, students, teachers and administrators of the East Meadow School District left that evening with smiles on their faces,” said Debra Harley, the district’s math and science director.


Distinguished Schools

Ten Long Island schools have been named 2017-18 Distinguished Schools by Project Lead the Way for their “commitment to increasing student access, engagement and achievement” in the Indianapolis-based nonprofit’s programs during the 2016-17 school year, the organization said.

Long Island’s designated schools are: Accompsett Elementary School, Smithtown; Dogwood Elementary School, Smithtown; Garden City High School; Mills Pond Elementary School, St. James; Mount Pleasant Elementary School, Smithtown; Roslyn High School; Smithtown Elementary School; Southampton High School; St. James Elementary School; and Tackan Elementary School in Nesconset.

Nationwide, 390 schools and districts received the designation.— Michael R. Ebert

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