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Nassau: Great Neck South is science bowl runner-up

Great Neck South High School was runner-up in

Great Neck South High School was runner-up in the 2014 Long Island Regional High School Science Bowl held in January at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Team members, from left: Allan Lee, Jay Zussman, Joseph Kim, Jin Hyup Hong, Melody Yang and coach James Truglio. Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory

Ward Melville High School took this year's crown in a prestigious regional science competition.

The East Setauket school's five-student team -- Eidan Jacob, Harrison Li, Rajiv Moturu, Akilesh Tangella and Jake Welde -- beat 20 other teams to win first place last month in the 2014 Long Island Regional High School Science Bowl at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton. It was the school's eighth regional championship in the past 12 years.

In the final match, Ward Melville came from behind to beat Great Neck South High School. Commack High School finished third and Farmingdale High School finished fourth.

Ward Melville will compete at the national finals in Washington, D.C., April 24-28.

"I am very happy with our students' victory at the regional science bowl," principal Alan Baum said. "They have worked hard practicing for this event, and their hard work, perseverance and dedication really came through during this tough competition."

The science bowl is a "Jeopardy"-style competition with a four-division, round-robin format in the morning, on topics that range from biology to chemistry to physics. Division winners faced off in afternoon matches as part of a double-elimination series.

The competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.



MLK scholarships

Hempstead High School students Kadeem Brown, Mayelin Hernandez, Karen Beatriz Lopez and Aaron-Michael Rines each were awarded $2,500 college scholarships last month by North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.

The scholarships were in recognition of the students' academic achievements and community service as part of the health system's commemorations of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., according to North Shore-LIJ officials.



Virtual marathon

Students in Alfred G. Berner Middle School's adaptive physical education class are running a 26.2-mile marathon this school year, without ever leaving the confines of the school's gym.

The 10 members of the class have physical or cognitive challenges. Since September, they have been running or walking in the gym for 10-minute intervals through a pilot program with the nonprofit Achilles International. The cumulative laps are converted to miles and plotted on a map of Massapequa to show students how far they have gone.

"We hope this program instills a passion for fitness and for being healthy and active," said Kerry Regan, a physical education teacher at the school.



Oratory and arts winners

Syosset High School senior Jaclyn Schess took second place last month at the Long Island level of a contest in oratory coordinated by the American Legion.

The competition challenged students to give a 10-minute response to a question about the U.S. Constitution. At the tri-state-area level earlier this month, Schess lost to Sarah Bogen, a junior at St. Pius V School in Melville who won that contest.

In other news, Syosset junior Adam Katz was named a finalist in the category of cinema arts and received $1,000 from the National YoungArts Foundation, which recognizes excellence in the arts. He was one of 171 national finalists and the only one from Nassau County.

For winning, he was invited last month to the 33rd Annual YoungArts Week in Miami, which included master classes with international artists.



Qualifying tournament

Several Long Island teams were among the winners at the FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournament.

The tourney last month gave 20 metro-area teams a chance to secure a spot in the NYC/Long Island Regional Championship next month at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. FIRST stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."

The event challenged two-team alliances to program robots to place plastic blocks on goals during matches of 21/2 minutes, as well as perform tasks such as hoisting a flag and elevating robots using a pull-up bar. It was presented by New York City FIRST and the School-Business Partnerships of Long Island.

Long Island winners and their awards were: Droid Bots Team 䒇 of New Hyde Park, Motivate Award and Inspire Award second place; Icebreakers Team 䆃 of Merrick, Connect Award; Roboboogie Team 㕀 of Hewlett, Think Award; Innovo Team 呷 of Hewlett, Alliance Award winner and Inspire Award first place; Islandbots Team 䄷 of Stony Brook, Alliance Award winner; Control Alt Win Team 膖 of Lynbrook, Alliance Award finalist.

The Droid Bots, Roboboogie, Islandbots and Innovo teams are among those advancing to the regional level on March 8.

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