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Nassau: Hewlett H.S., Great Neck South place 2nd in Protein Modeling Challenge

George W. Hewlett High School’s team — from

George W. Hewlett High School’s team — from left, Emanuel Cohen, Jovanna Maharaj and Ariel Slepyan — tied for second place with Great Neck South High School in the Protein Modeling Challenge at Stony Brook University on Feb. 28, 2014. Credit: Stony Brook University

Three students from The Stony Brook School took top honors in the 2014 Protein Modeling Challenge at Stony Brook University.

Zhejian Chen, Hyunseok Park and Chi Ying Ho won first place in the competition to build a model illustrating the link between protein structure and function.

George W. Hewlett High School and Great Neck South High School tied for second, while Farmingdale High School and Wantagh High School tied for third. Longwood High School in Middle Island won the People's Choice Award, which was chosen by students.

"I am very proud of my students," Hewlett coach Terrence Bissoondial said. "Doing well in this competition meant that they are ready to tackle their independent research."

This year's challenge was to research and create a model of the Ras protein, which causes cancer if it mutates, Stony Brook University officials said. Teams also took a test on the day of the competition about their protein knowledge.

Twenty-eight teams participated. Models were judged for accuracy by university scientists as well as Applied DNA Sciences and CoFeron, two biotechnology companies based in Stony Brook.


Odyssey of the Mind

The Massapequa school district will have five teams -- the most of any Long Island district -- competing this week at the state level of Odyssey of the Mind.

The teams advanced after capturing four first-place wins and a second place in various divisions at the regionals. The competition challenges students to explore creative problem-solving methods.

Other districts with teams going on to the state level are Long Beach, with three teams, and Freeport with two. Single teams from the Farmingdale, Locust Valley and Plainview-Old Bethpage districts will compete as well.



Junior Iron Chef

Our Lady of Mercy Academy took first place in the high school division of Junior Iron Chef on Long Island.

The school's team -- Andrea Capobianco, Kelsey Capobianco, Briege Plich and Jacqueline Scacco -- made falafel with strawberry avocado couscous salad in a lime vinaigrette.

The culinary competition last month challenged teams to create healthy recipes. It was coordinated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and Whole Foods Market in Lake Grove.



Lego League

More than 40 local teams competed in the 10th annual Long Island FIRST Lego League Championship Tournament, held last month at Longwood High School in Middle Island. FIRST is an acronym: "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."

Floral Park Brick Heads, Team No. 4181, won three awards -- Alliance, Robot Performance and All Around -- and will next compete today at the Canada International Open.

This year's challenge, titled "Nature's Fury," asked students ages 9-14 to build a robot to complete a natural disaster mission, such as positioning an evacuation sign or clearing a runway.

Nassau County's other winning teams and their awards were: Carle Place Middle School, Team No. 1462, Alliance Award; Merrick Masters, Team No. 4404 of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Mechanical Design Award; Fury of the Locust, Team No. 5012 of Locust Valley, Strategy & Innovation Award; Smart Cookies, Team No. 4406 of the Girls Scouts of Nassau County, Creative Presentation Award; Lakeville Lightning, Team No. 14190 of Great Neck, Inspiration Award; Kennedy Creators, Team No. 15358 of Great Neck, Teamwork Award; and EMB Targets, Team No. 14139 of Great Neck, Rookie Award.



LISEF winners

Twenty-four Long Island students were named finalists in the 2014 Long Island Science & Engineering Fair, held at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Students from 75 schools presented 420 projects.

The finalists will compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles in May.

They are: Luhong Li and Clara Sava-Segal of Great Neck North High School; Lelina Chang of Great Neck South High School; Ken Aizawa, Matt Chun, Kanav Gupta, Varsha Venkatesh and Amy Xu of Jericho High School; Ritayan Chakraborty and Justin Lafazan of Syosset High School; Jessica Kim, Grace Lee, Caitlin McCormick, Andrew Moshova and Emma Dong of Manhasset High School; Harry Paul of Schreiber High School in Port Washington; Hannah Stewart of Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School; Robert Myrick of Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park; Allison Murphy of Sayville High School; Scott Massa and Joshua Zweig of Commack High School; Luke Farrell and Sarah Jacobs of Hauppauge High School; and Yongpeng Tang of Smithtown High School East.

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