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Jericho teams among winners in Lexus Eco Challenge

Jericho High School's "Guardians of the Garbage" team

Jericho High School's "Guardians of the Garbage" team was one of two groups from the district to win $10,000 in this year's Lexus Eco Challenge. Team members are pictured here at a local dump. Credit: Neil Rosenfeld

Two teams from the Jericho school district won $10,000 in a national competition that asked them to create practical solutions for environmental issues related to land, water, air and climate.

Jericho High School's "Guardians of the Garbage" and Jericho Middle School's "SmartValve Grey2Green" were among 32 teams nationwide to earn prizes in the Lexus Eco Challenge, which was created by Lexus and the publishing company Scholastic Corp. The teams were winners in the competition's Land & Water Challenge.

"I'm proud of both teams," said Serena McCalla, Jericho's science research coordinator. "This is a testament to their dedication and hard work."

The two groups also advanced to the final challenge, with a chance at one of two $30,000 grand prizes or eight $15,000 first-place prizes, but were not among those winners.

Guardians of the Garbage synthesized an eco-friendly polymer layer to absorb contaminant leakage that is engineered by an app that monitors oil concentration and possible leakage at oil-rig sites. Team members were Sebica Katel, Danny Li, Arianna Pahlavan, Hannah Philipose, Devika Rajeev, Zachary Rosenfeld, Le Zhang and Audrey Zhong.

SmartValve Grey2Green proposed conserving water through a three-way valve capable of directing dirty water and reusable water when connected to Smart Home appliances and plumbing systems. Team members were David Barzideh, Brendan Shek, Chloe Zhang, Elaine Zhang, Andrew Zhao, Bryan Zhao, Patrick Zhao, Leon Zhou and Kevin Zhu.



Jenna Matarazzo, Paige Matarazzo and Corina Henke of Garden City High School placed first in the environment category of the 2019 Chemagination Competition coordinated by the American Chemical Society's New York Section.

This year, students were asked to imagine they were living 25 years in the future and write an article describing a recent breakthrough or innovation in chemistry. The Garden City trio's notion was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by floating biodegradable spheres that contained photosynthetic organisms in the atmosphere.

The competition attracted about 70 students to St. John's University in Queens.


History Day

Forty-three Nassau County students qualified for the National History Day competition after placing in the top two spots in various categories at New York History Day in Cooperstown. The national event is June 9-13 in Maryland.

This year's competition challenged participants to research historical topics of their choice on the theme of "Triumph and Tragedy in History."

Nassau's qualifiers and their school districts are: Rahul Ajmera and Emma Melnikob, East Williston; Aarya Agarwal, Selina Chiang, Abhinav Goyal, Brace Kim, Maggie Lau, Tiffany Leo, Aditya Lodha, Sanjana Lodha, Prameet Shah, Dheyaia Simrin, Gurvir Singh, Emily Wei, David Xiang, Celeste Zhang and David Zhang, of Herricks; Kira Grossman, Michael Heyman, Harley Honig, Sydney Honig, Ian Isseks, Julia Klayman and Gabby Nakkab, of Hewlett-Woodmere; Krishna Chalise, Kaitlyn Choi, Diya Gurnami, Andy Liu, Lauren Marchand, Ethan Na, Sofia Pedram, Nancy Tao, Angela Zhou and Kevin Zhu, of Jericho; Ricky Chen, of Massapequa; and Michael Granelli, Christian Holden and Nicholas La Rosa, of North Shore.

Aharon Cohen, Benjy Fried, Marc Matlis, Moshe Rattner and Shmuli Glick of Hebrew Academy of Long Beach also qualified.


Corporate-sponsored scholarships

Eleven Long Island students are among more than 1,000 high school seniors nationwide named winners of corporate-sponsored scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Corp. The scholarships range from single payments of between $2,500 and $5,000 to annual stipends of up to $10,000 that are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.

Winners and their high schools are: Drew Kuroda, Chaminade; Avi Radinsky, Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys; Kavya Rao, Half Hollow Hills East; David Xu, Jericho; Nicole Jacobsen, Plainedge; Abigail Sneddon, Sayville; Edward Samowitz, Paul D. Schreiber; and Dara Berman, Elizabeth Concepcion, Ziyue Ma and Kevin Xu, Ward Melville.

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