A five-student Hicksville High School team took first place in this...

A five-student Hicksville High School team took first place in this year's Medical Marvels competition. The team members are shown with Principal Ray Williams and social studies teacher Stephanie Piscitelli. Credit: Hicksville School District

A Hicksville High School team won a local competition that challenged students to develop and implement a solution to end vaping at their school.

The team of Sarah Chavez, Roxy Dias, Maeryam Nasari, Bisma Omer and Kaitlyn Verdugo took the top spot over 37 others in the seventh annual Medical Marvels competition. It was sponsored by The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Northwell Health's Center for Workforce Readiness.

Second place went to a Garden City High team, and one from Paul D. Schreiber High in Port Washington came in third.

"We are extremely proud of the hard work and creativity of our young researchers in delivering an award-winning solution to this very real problem," said Rose Borda, Hicksville's social studies and home and careers supervisor. "They represent the next generation of visionaries in science and health research."

The Hicksville team proposed that long-term solutions use public policy and focus on adjusting the way in which vape pens are made, such as adding access codes that only school staff could unlock and establishing a geofence around campuses that could shut off all pens in a specific area.

Hicksville's team won $1,800, while Garden City's and Paul D. Schreiber's won $1,000 and $500, respectively.

The competition, open to students in the ninth and 10th grades, required teams to submit proposals that were evaluated by a panel of scientists, clinicians and health care administrators. Teams also presented their completed proposals last month at The Feinstein Institute.

First-graders at Ann MacArthur Primary School in Locust Valley recently...

First-graders at Ann MacArthur Primary School in Locust Valley recently practiced a warrior pose as part of a yoga session, to learn self-regulation before a writing workshop. Credit: Locust Valley School District


Distinguished Schools

Three schools in the Herricks district and eight schools in the Smithtown district have been named 2018-19 Distinguished Schools by Project Lead the Way for their "commitment to increasing student access, engagement and achievement" in the nonprofit's programs during the 2017-18 school year, the organization said.

In Herricks, Center Street, Denton Avenue and Searingtown elementary schools were recognized. The schools honored in the Smithtown system were Accompsett, Dogwood, Mill Pond, St. James and Smithtown elementary schools and Accompsett, Great Hollow and Nesaquake middle schools. 

Wantagh Elementary School students participated in theme days last month as...

Wantagh Elementary School students participated in theme days last month as part of the school's Pick a Reading Partner Program, which encourages kids to read with a partner of their choice for 15 minutes a day. The students pictured here, with children's book author James Preller, dressed up for Disguise Day Credit: Wantagh School District

Nationwide, 214 elementary schools and 148 middle schools were named 2018-19 Distinguished Schools.


Safety slogan contest

A fifth-grade class at Lee Avenue Elementary School is the elementary school-level winner of a safety slogan contest coordinated by the Long Island Rail Road's Together Railroads and Communities Keeping Safe Program, or TRACKS.

Teacher Kristine McAllister's class was selected for their slogan, "It's a good sign if you have safety on your mind." The slogan will be displayed on a banner at the LIRR's Hicksville station.

The contest received hundreds of entries from throughout the LIRR's service area.


Regional delegates

Five students will represent Long Island at the national level after being named regional delegates in this year's Long Island Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at York College in Queens.

Delegates and their high schools are: Rinni Bhansali, Half Hollow Hills East in Dix Hills; Gabriella Shayani and David Xu, Jericho; Jessica Goldstein, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK; and Brandon Lee, Roslyn.

The students submitted research papers for evaluation by a panel of judges, with the best selected for presentation at the symposium.

Each delegate receives an all-expenses-paid trip to compete at the 57th National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Albuquerque on April 24-27.

Local students named regional finalists and their high schools were: Kathy Cao, Commack; Qingyuan Qian, Great Neck North; Aditi Dam, George W. Hewlett; Angie Li, Jericho; Kaylie Hausknecht, Lynbrook; Madison Kallman, Oceanside; and Bettina Bonfiglio, Sayville.

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