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Way to Go: Essayist Nalin Shankar of New Hyde Park

Nalin Shankar, a senior at New Hyde Park Memorial High School, beat nearly 100 Long Island students to win first place last month in an environmental essay contest held by the India Association of Long Island in conjunction with the Long Island Sierra Club. He received a $500 prize.

Shankar's essay on the contest theme, "Going Green on Long Island Through Alternative Energy," proposed building solar carports in parking lots where car batteries could be charged for a small fee.

"Many alternative sources of energy exist, but solar energy is truly unique," Shankar, 17, said in an e-mail. "Solar energy doesn't need any open space, it is efficient and pollution-free, and once we embrace the technology and improve it, it will become economical. Fossil fuels are dwindling, and it is the responsibility of our generation to harness alternative sources of energy."

Shankar, an Eagle Scout, is a member of Mathletes and the Science Olympiad and captains the varsity tennis squad. He was accepted at Cornell University and plans to major in engineering.

Krystal Memmer of Wantagh High School won second place; Suki Tsang of New Hyde Park and Emilie Listas of Hauppauge High School took third.

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