Twenty students were named first-place winners of this year's Long...

Twenty students were named first-place winners of this year's Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. Credit: Maria Zeitlin

Twenty Long Island students have qualified for the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles next month, after placing first in a regional contest earlier this year.

The students had competed in the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, an annual event that received more than 400 submissions from 58 local schools in 13 categories ranging from animal sciences to microbiology and chemistry. At least 25% in each category were selected for the second round of judging in March at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

The winners will now go on to the international fair, to be held May 11-17.

“As a result of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs across Long Island, there was an increased number of exemplary projects,” said the local fair’s president, Angela Lukaszewski. “Becoming a finalist was an even greater challenge this year.”

First-place winners and their high schools are Ava Goldsmith, John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore; Milan Lustig, Cold Spring Harbor; Mehek Sawhney, Commack; Leah Fromm, East Hampton; James Nagler, Garden City; Michelle Luo, Great Neck South; Rishi Aravind and Stasya Selizhuk, Half Hollow Hills East in Dix Hills; Arav Chand, Half Hollow Hills West in Dix Hills; Natasha Kulviwat, Katherine Lee, Manfred Lim, Samyra Mahiba and Sophia Tarasenko, Jericho; Alena Tsai and Dylan Yoon, Manhasset; Kaitlin Ho, North Shore in Glen Head; Syon Khatter and Yoav Muscal, Plainview-Old Bethpage; and Tessla Chan, Roslyn.

BAYPORT

New principal

Jamal Walcott has been named principal of Bayport-Blue Point High School, effective July 1. He will replace James Nolan, who is holding the position on an interim basis.

Walcott has served as an assistant principal at Longwood High School in Middle Island since 2018.

“I am excited to continue promoting the tremendous achievements of the students in this community and the hard work put in by the teachers every day,” Walcott said.

“I eagerly anticipate a long career of helping students discover their full potential at Bayport-Blue Point, while also creating memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.”

LYNBROOK

Communication board

West End Elementary School recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil a new communication board near the school’s playground that is intended to assist children with verbal disabilities.

The board is designed to help students express themselves by pointing to images and symbols that represent words such as “climb,” “run” and “throw.” Its installation was facilitated by the Lynbrook school district’s Special Education PTA and the Lynbrook Police Benevolent Association.

“I feel so hopeful because the world is finding ways to help those who are different,” said West End third-grader CiCi Farr, whose preschool-aged sister, Cosette, has a speech delay. “It’s hard for her to communicate, which can be really upsetting to her.”

ISLANDWIDE

Maglev contest

Students from four Long Island middle schools placed first this past March in Brookhaven National Laboratory’s 2024 Maglev Contest, which challenged them to design vehicles that float over a fixed track using magnetic levitation. This year’s competition included 150 students from 10 middle schools across Long Island.

First-place winners from Bay Shore are Andrew Oliveri, self-propelled (balloon); Owen Huber, self-propelled (other); and Chase Harrison, electrified track.

Three students from Albert G. Prodell Middle School in Shoreham also won first place: Jordyn Lusak, wind power; Jonah Maraglio, gravity; and Aylin Tucksonmez, futuristic. Srihas Mandava, of Accompsett Middle School in Smithtown, won the 3D printed category, while Lucas and Marcus Chang and Quentin Lennox, of Great Neck South Middle School, won the scale-model category.

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