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Nassau: Students envision future technology

From left, Locust Valley Intermediate's Assistant Principal Amy

From left, Locust Valley Intermediate's Assistant Principal Amy Watson, adviser Maria Sidor, Roarke Creedon, Shawn Kapoor, Matthew Klein, adviser Ann Joyce, and Principal Sophia Gary. Credit: Locust Valley School District

Two teams from Long Island schools have reached the national level of a prestigious science competition that challenges students to imagine technology that could exist in 20 years.

Three Locust Valley Intermediate School students -- Roarke Creedon, Shawn Kapoor and Matthew Klein -- were among the six regional winners in the grade 4-6 division of the 2014 ExploraVision competition.

A four-student squad from Ward Melville High School in East Setauket -- Nimra Ghani, Swati Gupta, Sapna Nath and Adina Nawaz -- was one of six regional winners in the contest's grade 10-12 division.

Locust Valley's idea proposes making flights safer with an anti-icing innovation that involves nano-imprinting the lotus leaf pattern onto a plane's exterior to help repel water.

"When our students apply their research and analysis skills in a nationwide competition, it helps to broaden their view of the world," Locust Valley coach Anne Joyce said. "Students see their ideas are possible, that the future is in reach, and they can play an active role in moving our world forward."

Ward Melville's project aims to preclude the onset of cancer by providing a method to create a new drug that reverses methylation of the BRCA gene, allowing it to reactivate and again work to suppress breast cancer, coach George Baldo said.

"I'm very proud of the girls -- they are top-notch science students," he said of the team.

The teams' next task is to create a website promoting their ideas. They will be judged against the teams in their division, with winners named on April 18.

The contest is coordinated by Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association. Winners will be awarded $10,000 and $5,000 savings bonds for first- and second-place finishes, respectively.



Kids of Distinction

Kids Helping Kids, by Kids Way, a local nonprofit that encourages philanthropy among youngsters, has launched a 2014 Kids of Distinction Scholarship Program in partnership with the Town of Oyster Bay.

In celebration of the program's 10th year, a total of 10 $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to students demonstrating a commitment to their community. Five winners will selected from each of two categories -- grades 5-8 and 9-12.

Applications are available at town hall, town schools and libraries, and the town's website,

The deadline is May 16.



Hitting a high note

Uniondale High School's show choir placed third in the 2014 FAME Show Choir Regional Competition at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan and will compete for a second straight year at the national level.

The 45-student show choir, along with a jazz band, performed an act themed around the 1988 movie "Coming to America."

In addition to the team achievement, four seniors received individual awards: Michael Walker won Best Male Stage Presence, Tiye Bradley won Best Female Stage Presence, Kenyo Baly won Best Male Vocalist and David Pierre won Best Saxophone Player.

The national contest is scheduled April 24-27 in Chicago.


Tech Challenge winners

Three Nassau County teams were among eight schools that advanced earlier this month from the FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Champion competition, held at New York University's Polytechnic School of Engineering.

Heading to the East Super-Regional Tournament will be Hewlett High School's Bionica team and two Girl Scouts teams -- Nassau County's Icebreakers from Merrick, and the Legotronettes from Garden City.

This year's theme -- "Block Party!" -- challenged 36 tri-state area teams to design, build and program robots to place blocks on a pendulum.

The East Super-Regional Tournament is scheduled Thursday in Pennsylvania.



Distinguished Teachers

Fourteen Long Island teachers have been named 2014 Distinguished Teachers by the Harvard Club of Long Island for their impact on student lives. They were nominated by Harvard University undergraduates who went to local schools.

Winners were Daniel Bachman of Massapequa High School, Michael Castellano of Lindenhurst High School, Lori Christensen and Greg Wagner of Island Trees High School in Levittown, George Drakatos of Baldwin High School, Karen Hughes of Herricks High School, Erik Johnson of The Stony Brook School, Debbie Langone of East Meadow High School, Marsha Lasky of Long Island School for the Gifted in Huntington Station, Peter Macchia of Farmingdale High School, David Miles of North Shore Hebrew Academy in Great Neck, Allison Noonan of Syosset High School, Karen Scharbach of St. Anthony's High School in South Huntington, and Marcia Untracht of Manhasset High School.

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