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Sachem teams win Junior Iron Chef contest

Sachem High School North team members Victoria Corcoran,

Sachem High School North team members Victoria Corcoran, left, Kaitlyn Seitz and Haley McKiski placed first in the high school division of the Long Island Junior Iron Chef Competition. Credit: Steve Graybosch

Students on two teams from the Sachem school district took the top awards in this year's Long Island Junior Iron Chef Competition.

A team from Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma placed first in the high school division, while a team from Seneca Middle School in Holbrook won the middle school division in the seventh annual competition.

Fifteen teams from across Long Island participated in the event, which challenged groups of three to five students to prepare a dish in one hour.

Sachem North's Almost Master Chef team — Victoria Corcoran , Haley McKiski, Kayla Salvate and Kaitlyn Seitz — made the Mexican dish chilaquiles. Seneca's G.O.A.T. team — Leah Ferrara, Sofia Iacono, Andrew Macchio, Gianna Scolaro and Jacqueline Volo — made a Caribbean breakfast salad.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Seneca students have won the middle school division.

"The judges all commented that this year's recipes were the best by far and that all teams had excelled in their dishes," said Vicki Fleming, director of the 4-H Youth Development Program for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, which sponsored the contest with Whole Foods Market. 

The competition, held at the Whole Foods Market in Lake Grove, was designed to promote recipes that use local ingredients and can be easily worked into school menus.

Recipes were limited to five main ingredients, including two USDA ingredients used in school cafeterias.



Teams from Jericho and Garden City high schools are among 24 regional winners nationwide in this year's ExploraVision Competition and now will aim for a chance to win $10,000.

The competition, coordinated by Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association, challenged students to imagine a technology that might exist in 20 years.

Jericho's team — Dia Shah, Ernest Wang, RuoXuan Wang and Caroline Yu — was named the regional winner in the grades 10-12 category. The group proposed a graphene patch that provides noninvasive transdermal delivery of therapeutics and restores nerve and tissue function after chemoradiation.

The Garden City team of Abigail Benzinger, Sophia Bernardo, Julia Conroy and Ryann Henry took the regional award in the grades 7-9 category for proposing a brain implant and 3-D printed device that helps regenerate nerves by releasing a nerve growth factor.


St. Baldrick's Day

Many local schools showed solidarity for children battling cancer by holding head-shaving events last month to benefit the St. Baldrick's Foundation.           

In Bellmore, Wellington C. Mepham High School raised nearly $50,000 through a 9th annual "Chop Your Locks for Charity" fundraiser. Since 2008, the Mepham community has raised some $330,000 for the cause.

In Plainview, Howard B. Mattlin Middle School raised more than $43,000 through a seventh annual fundraiser, with fifth-grader Dylan Rose single-handedly raising about $22,500.

Valley Stream South High School brought in more than $17,000, with teacher Laura Pokorny raising the largest individual amount of $1,500.


Business plan competition

Four Long Island teams with intriguing names — AstroDough of Syosset High School, Comforting Canines of George W. Hewlett High School, Nova of Patchogue-Medford High School, and Poppy of Huntington High School — are among 32 nationwide to qualify for the 2019 National Business Plan Competition.

The contest will be held during Virtual Enterprises International's Youth Business Summit in Manhattan on Monday. 

To reach the national level, the teams first were among nearly 100 simulated businesses at the Long Island Regional Conference and Exhibition in January. They then advanced to the next round at American Portfolios Financial Services in Holbrook in February.

The competition challenges students to demonstrate global business expertise through written business plans and oral presentations.


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