Teams from R.C. Murphy Junior High School in Stony Brook and Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School in Port Washington grabbed the top spots among middle schools in this year’s Long Island regional science olympiads.
Seventy-six middle school teams participated in the eastern Long Island and western Long Island regional tournaments, held at Candlewood Middle School in Dix Hills and Division Avenue High School in Levittown, respectively. The two first-place teams, along with nine other top-performing teams, qualified for the state tournament in Syracuse, to be held Friday and Saturday.
Statewide, 11 middle school regionals were held, with teams of up to 15 students competing in written, hands-on and engineering-based events in topics ranging from meteorology to parasitology.
“They spend a great deal of time around their regular school assignments preparing for these competitions, in which they always excel,” Kathleen Mooney, superintendent of the Port Washington district, said of Carrie Palmer Weber’s team.
Other teams in the Western Long Island Regional that qualified for the state tournament are from Brother Joseph C. Fox Latin School in Uniondale, Jonas E. Salk Middle School in Levittown, Manhasset Middle School, South Woods Middle School in Syosset and Wisdom Lane Middle School in Levittown.
In addition to R.C. Murphy, other teams from the Eastern Long Island Regional qualifying for the state tournament are from Islip Middle School, James Wilson Young Middle School in Bayport, P.J. Gelinas Junior High School in East Setauket and Port Jefferson Middle School.
Herricks High School’s Chamber Orchestra placed first in the high school string orchestra division of the American String Teachers Association’s 2018 National Orchestra Festival in Atlanta.
“These students made me as proud as I have ever been to be their teacher,” said Catherine Fish, Herricks’ director and conductor. “They have become a true team and worked together to create something so beautiful that it moved audience members, and myself, to tears.”
The ensemble received the highest overall score of 59.4 out of 60 and a superior rating.
Herricks’ musicians vied against 12 other groups from across the nation, all selected to compete after a “rigorous audition process,” school officials said.
Kusum Sinha has been appointed superintendent of the Garden City school district, effective July 1. He will replace interim Superintendent Alan Groveman.
Sinha currently is assistant superintendent for human resources and leadership development for the Chappaqua Central School District.
“It is my hope by working collaboratively and ensuring that we all are communicating, listening and trusting, we will continue to build upon Garden City’s outstanding tradition of excellence,” Sinha said.
Five students will represent Long Island at the national level after being named regional delegates during the 2018 Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at York College in Queens.
The students and their high schools are: Aria Eghbali, Commack; Amy Shteyman, Great Neck North; Tong Ye, Half Hollow Hills East; Kendra Zhang, Jericho; and Kyle Markland, Rocky Point.
Each received an all-expenses-paid trip to compete at the 56th National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Maryland on May 2-5.
To participate, they submitted research papers for evaluation by local college faculty, scientists and engineers, with the best papers selected for presentation at the symposium.
The regional event was sponsored by the research arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, through the Academy of Applied Sciences.
— MICHAEL R. EBERT