Teams from Chaminade High School in Mineola and Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma took the top spots for Nassau and Suffolk counties, respectively, at the 2013 Long Island Regional Envirothon.
The 15th annual competition consisted of written exams and outdoor challenges in aquatics, forestry, soil and wildlife -- as well as an oral presentation on a predetermined topic -- with a theme of sustainable rangeland management. Thirty-two teams of local high school students competed last month at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration.
"They're all hardworking kids and curious about science," Chaminade coach Benjamin Knapp said of his team. Of the Envirothon's importance, he said: "There's so many good jobs in geology and engineering, and this competition could inspire some students to go into those fields."
Chaminade's team members were Alex Adia, Connor Doyle, John Lanka, Matt Lattime and Dylan Tamayo. Sachem North's team members were James Brako-McComb, Shelby Guercio, Charlie Horn, Katie Kohut and Sharon Luebs.
"This is a way of life for them; it's more than just a competition," said Sachem North coach Monica Marlowe, adding that the victory is her team's eighth consecutive county title.
The winning teams each received $500 and paid registration and transportation to vie in the state level at Morrisville State College on May 30-31. The local competition was coordinated by the Soil & Water Conservation Districts of Nassau and Suffolk counties and sponsored by Canon USA.
Remembering lost friend
Winthrop Avenue School has honored Korri Haimson, a student who died earlier in the school year, with installation of a bench and a plaque and the planting of two trees in her memory.
The trees were donated by the school's PTA and Nassau County Girl Scout Troop 964.
At a ceremony last month, music teacher Erica Davis led a rendition of the original song "Smiles Are Free," which was Korri's favorite saying and was engraved on the bench.
"The bench is here to be a reminder of Korri's wonderful life," Principal Sally Curto said.
9/11 memorial site
North Shore High School's design and drawing classes are contributing to the design of a 9/11 memorial site at the school that will display a twisted box beam from the World Trade Center.
Participants were required to submit multiple thumbnail sketches and drawings of their design for review by a panel of judges, who will select a winning blueprint.
The 69-inch, 400-pound artifact came to the school over the winter after "many months of discussions" between math teacher Rob Gerver and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, school officials said.
Changing the world
Thirteen Nassau County teams were among 64 finalists nationwide last month in the 2013 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a contest in which K-12 students brainstorm solutions to local or global environmental issues.
Projects ranged from discovering new methods for creating paper to exploring aquaculture as a solution for the overfishing problem on Long Island.
The finalist teams were: Fishful Thinking of East Meadow Middle School; Food for Fuel, Team R&R, Team MJ, Eco-Warriors, The Aquafors, The Recycleables, Quatro Quirky Quarks, The Plain Viewers of Science, Tyler Team and JAM of Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School; and Aerodynamic Energy and Food for Thought of Herricks High School.
The Siemens challenge is a collaborative educational effort of the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the College Board and the National Science Teachers Association.
Nine Long Island seniors are among roughly 1,000 nationwide to win corporate-sponsored scholarships financed by about 200 corporations, foundations and other organizations through the National Merit Scholarship Corp.
The scholarships, which range from single payments of up to $5,000 to annual stipends of up to $10,000, are issued to children of the sponsor's employees who plan to pursue careers they wish to encourage.
Winners were Michael Pierides and Sara Stiklickas of H. Frank Carey High School in Franklin Square, Benjamin Sorkin of Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills, William Morris of Miller Place High School, Sunny Zheng of Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School, Gloria Zheng of Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, Shirley Kuang of Syosset High School, Nicasia Beebe-Wang of Westhampton Beach High School, and Nina Rose Camillone, a home-schooled student in Shoreham.