The team from Sachem North High School in Lake Ronkonkoma...

The team from Sachem North High School in Lake Ronkonkoma took first place among Suffolk County teams in the 2016 Long Island Regional Envirothon. Credit: Long Island Regional Envirothon

Teams from Sachem North High School in Lake Ronkonkoma and Great Neck South High School took first-place honors in Suffolk and Nassau counties, respectively, at the 2016 Long Island Regional Envirothon.

The winning squads advance to the state competition, to be held May 25-26 in upstate Geneva.

The 18th annual regional contest challenged five-person teams to take written exams and engage in outdoor challenges in aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife. The students also gave oral presentations on a predetermined topic; this year’s subject was invasive species.

The Envirothon drew nearly 40 teams to the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts in Wheatley Heights last month.

“This is a great opportunity for young environmental stewards to learn about local ecology and what they can do to protect and preserve their natural resources,” said Corey Humphrey, district manager for the Suffolk County Soil & Water Conservation District, which coordinated the event with Nassau County’s district.

Participating pupils rotated between subject stations and answered questions as a team, with each test made up of 25 multiple-choice questions, competition officials said. Many questions were hands-on and involved the use of equipment, maps and audiovisual devices.

Sachem North’s team members were Emily Gelardi, Erin Maryzek, Jack McGlinchey, Kaelyn Roche and Emily Watson. Great Neck South’s team members were Katelyn Chang, Angela Chi, Allan Lee, Angelina Wang and Ann Zhang. All 10 students received a $500 scholarship.

Covanta, the event’s sponsor, donated $10,000 to fund the competition and scholarships.


Science Olympiad

Teams from Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School and Ward Melville High School are advancing to the 2016 Science Olympiad National Tournament, to be held May 18-21 in Wisconsin.

They are the only teams from Long Island — and among only four teams statewide — to go on to the national level.

Gelinas and Ward Melville competed in Long Island regional events for middle and high school teams, respectively, before advancing to the state level in Syracuse. The top two middle and high school teams at the state level go to the nationals.

Teams from Gelinas have competed in the national tourney 11 times since 2003.


History Day

Two Suffolk County students — Reah Vasilakopoulos of Hauppauge High School and Chloe Liepa of Huntington High School — were among first-place winners in various categories last month at New York State History Day in Cooperstown.

Participants researched historical topics of their choice through libraries, archives, museums and interviews. This year’s topics ranged from the Louisiana Purchase to the Cuban missile crisis. Students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. Those materials are then evaluated by educators and professional historians.

In addition, the following students won special awards: Benjamin Joseph of Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station and Charlie Ehrman of Huntington High School, the National Maritime Historical Society Award; and Chloe Liepa of Huntington High School, the Thomas W. Malone Award.


Merit scholarships

Seven Long Island students were among more than 1,000 high school seniors nationwide named recipients of corporate-sponsored scholarships by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. The scholarships range from single payments of up to $5,000 to annual stipends of up to $10,000 a year that are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.

Recipients were: Cassandra Grello, Half Hollow Hills High School East, Dix Hills; Alexis D’Alessandro and Tiffany Kim, Half Hollow Hills High School West, Dix Hills; Vikram Krishnamoorthy, Herricks High School; Eric Kilgore, Earl L. Vandermeulen High School, Port Jefferson; Eleni Aneziris, Ward Melville High School, East Setauket; and Lauren Bednor, Wantagh High School.

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