Fifteen Long Island students have been named first-place winners at the state level for their efforts researching local, national and international history.

This year's New York State History Day competition consisted of projects from more than 360 students statewide in grades six to 12, exploring topics keyed to this year's theme, "Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas." Groups or individuals researched historical topics through libraries, archives, museums and oral interviews in one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website.

Topics ranged from Susan Ahn Cuddy becoming the U.S. Navy's first female gunnery officer to agronomist Norman Ernest Borlaug contributing to the increases in agricultural production as part of the Green Revolution. The competition was held last month at SUNY Oneonta.

"We could not be more proud of the students who represented Long Island," said Allison Sobel, the regional coordinator for Long Island History Day. "The quality of their research was very impressive, as was the variety of their topics."

Long Island's first-place winners and their schools were: Jasmine Koppel, Weldon E. Howitt Middle School in Farmingdale; Enzo DiTeri, Eric Jeon, Aryan Mukherjee, Charles Park and Sahana Sundar, Jericho Middle School; Kaitlyn Choi, Madison Choi, Khushi Patel, Ryan Wang, Tianjiao Wang, Henry Zhang and Emily Zhu, Jericho High School; and Logan Hamilton and Alexander Yee-Chan, Willets Road School in Roslyn Heights.

The competition's first- and second-place winners advance to the national level in Maryland on June 11-15.


"BEE"yond winners

Kathleen Schieck, a teacher at Lenox Elementary School in Baldwin, and Michael Sarling, a band director at Bayport-Blue Point High School, have been named the Nassau and Suffolk county winners, respectively, of Applebee's seventh annual Above and “BEE”yond Teacher Essay Contest. 

Schieck and Sarling were selected based on nomination essays submitted by their students. They will be honored with an end-of-year party for their class and a $500 check to be used for classroom expenses next school year.

"We're honored to recognize our local teachers who work so hard to educate the youth," said Brian McDonnell, director of operations for Doherty Enterprises, which oversees Applebee's. 


ExploraVision winner

A team from Connetquot High School – consisting of students Gabrielle DeCapua, Declan Doran, Michael Fabbri and Michael Ibraham – has been named the second-place winner in the grades seven to nine category of this year's ExploraVision Competition, which challenges students to imagine technologies that might exist two decades from now. The contest, which received more than 2,000 submissions this year, is coordinated by the National Science Teaching Association and Toshiba.

Connetquot's team — consisting of students Gabrielle DeCapua, Declan Doran, Michael Fabbri and Michael Ibraham — proposed a technology that would isolate and produce targeted bacteriophages to eradicate "river blindness," which is a parasitic infection that is mainly a threat in African countries.

For winning, team members were awarded $5,000 savings bonds and have been invited to attend ExploraVision Awards Weekend in Washington, D.C., on June 7-10.


Video contest winners

Bridgehampton School has been named the grand-prize winner for the grades K-8 category in a video contest coordinated by the Rural Schools Association of New York State. The contest, which received 712 entries statewide, challenged students to collaborate with a faculty member to highlight the power of what makes their school community unique.

Bridgehampton's winning video, which was narrated by student Indy Cherry, won a $1,000 prize that will go to the school's Student Council for the purpose of building leadership and culturally responsive schoolwide programs, the school said.

The high school received second-place honors in the grades 9-12 category and was awarded a check for $250.


Japan Center essay winner

West Hempstead High School senior Aidan Sargent has won the High School Division Best Essay Award in a competition by the Japan Center of at Stony Brook that aimed to help local youth think creatively and critically about their lives by relating them to some aspect of Japan.

Sargent's 600-word essay, titled "Japan: Unlikely Gateway to My Educational Future," contended that learning history should focus on analysis of the totality of events and how they tie into each other.

"My connection to Japan may not be linguistic, cultural or gastronomical, but the way its history was taught to me had a larger impact on my future than I could have realized at the time," Sargent wrote. "Without seeking out new information and perspectives, I might never have realized my passion for studying history."


Irish writing contest

Katelyn Swint of MacArthur High School in Levittown and Dash Alschuler-Pierce and Sophia Nogueira of Valley Stream South High School have been named first-place winners in the 2023 Martin J. Kelly Writing Contest run by the Irish Cultural Society of the Garden City Area. They were awarded $300.

This year's contest, which attracted 288 students in grades eight to 12 from 13 local schools, asked participants to write a letter to home from an Irish-born teenager who has spent a year living with relatives on Long Island.

The contest was sponsored by the H.W. Wilson Foundation in Seaford.

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