A team from Ward Melville that won the high school...

A team from Ward Melville that won the high school division of the 2013 New York State Science Olympiad. Gelinas Junior High, also from Three Village district, won the middle school division. Credit: Handout

The Three Village Central School District swept the 2013 New York State Science Olympiad and will go on to compete nationally next month.

Earlier this month, teams from Ward Melville High School and Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School, both in East Setauket, took first place in the high school and middle school divisions, respectively, at the state competition in Syracuse.

Students vied in 18 events, ranging from identifying rocks to investigating a mock crime. The teams next will compete at the national tournament in Dayton, Ohio, on May 17-18.

"The success of these students is a clear reflection of their passion and continued drive," said Stephen Malusa, co-coach of the Ward Melville team.

To reach the state level, the teams took first place last month in the high school and middle school divisions of the Eastern Long Island Science Olympiad, consisting of 35 and 50 Suffolk teams, respectively. Those events took place at Ward Melville and at Candlewood Middle School in Dix Hills.

"One reason for our success is the amount of time that these students devote to preparing for the tournaments, and their dedication to each other," Gelinas coach Gary Vorwald said.

In Nassau County, Syosset High School and Great Neck South Middle School won the high school and middle school levels, respectively, of the Western Long Island Science Olympiad.



Music grant

Long Beach Middle School recently received more than $18,000 worth of music instruments from Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation in conjunction with Music Rising, a campaign that replaces instruments lost or destroyed by hurricanes, to aid in the school's recovery from superstorm Sandy.

"We hope the donated instruments will help get the music program back on its feet, so students can again enjoy the tremendous benefits of music education," said Tricia Steel, the foundation's program director.



Irish writing contest

Bridget Creighton of Manhasset High School recently won $200 in an annual writing contest coordinated by the Irish Cultural Society of the Garden City Area.

The contest, which drew about 520 entries, asked students to create a story based upon "Lunch atop a Skyscraper," the famous 1932 photo of 11 men eating lunch on a steel beam, high above Manhattan, during construction of the Rockefeller Center complex.

Second place went to Nina Tassiello of Long Beach High School and Sukanya Raj of Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park. Mary Celis of H. Frank Carey High School in Franklin Square and Danielle Longo of Valley Stream South High School took third place.



Robotics winners

Five Nassau County teams were named winners earlier this month in the 14th annual Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition at Hofstra University.

More than 1,200 students from 50 high schools in the tristate area teamed up to design, program and build robots in a six-week time frame.

This year's theme, "Ultimate Ascent," challenged teams of three to throw as many flying discs as possible into goals and climb pyramids during roughly two-minute matches.

Nassau's winning districts and their awards were: North Shore in Glen Head, Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen; Seaford, Rookie All-Star and Highest Rookie Seed Awards; Great Neck, Underwriters Laboratories Industrial Safety Award; Plainedge, Regional Finalist No. 1 Award; Plainview Old-Bethpage JFK, Regional Engineering Inspiration Award.

FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.



Achievement scholars

Seventeen Long Island seniors are among about 800 African-American students nationwide to win $2,500 achievement scholarships this year through the National Merit Scholarship Corp. They were evaluated based on academic achievement, teacher recommendations and SAT scores, among other factors.

Winners are Michael Butler Jr., Jamell Dozier and Arielle Martinez of Baldwin High School; Jordan Duprey of Chaminade High School, Mineola; Arielle Horowitz of Commack High School; Kim Okoli of Bishop McGann-Mercy High School, Riverhead; Josiana Lacrete of Half Hollow Hills High School West, Dix Hills; Andrew Eccles of Elmont Memorial High School; Hunter Frederick of Freeport High School; Sean Michael Pierre of Great Neck North High School; Nebiyou Getahun and White Noah Kennedy of Jericho High School; Woodlynn Daniel of Oceanside High School; Justine Hamilton of South Side High School, Rockville Centre; Ayokunle Fagbemi of Valley Stream North High School; Isaiah Genece of Long Island Lutheran High School, Brookville; and Kim Nicolas of Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, Hicksville.

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