Twenty-nine Long Island students were among the winners at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair last month in Phoenix.
The fair — administered by the Society for Science & the Public — included 1,600 students from 433 affiliate fairs in 70 countries. More than 500 finalists received awards, and there were 17 best-of-category winners who received $5,000 prizes and $1,000 grants for both their schools and affiliated fairs.
George W. Hewlett High School students Samantha DiSalvo, Ryan Kenny and Amy Vitha won the best-of-category award in plant sciences. Their project, titled "The Characterization of the LPS-Induced Hypersensitive Response in Ceratopteris richardii," explored the development of plants with high resistance to pathogens by studying how parts of bacteria can induce cell death.
"I am extremely proud of my students' achievements," said Terrence Bissoondial, the Hewlett team's mentor. "It is not what they studied, but how well they studied the topic."
Other Long Island students to win awards included: Ben Akhavan of Rambam Mesivta High School in Lawrence; Mustafa Ansari of Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High; Evan Chernack of South Side High in Rockville Centre; Arshia Harandi of Roslyn High; Dan Hanover of Great Neck North High; Matt Chun, Kevin Huang, Olivia Novick, Kristin Wong and Amy Xu of Jericho High; Shilpa Iyer and Shweta Iyer of Comsewogue High in Port Jefferson Station; Aakash Jhaveri of The Wheatley School in Old Westbury; Byeong Ho Jung and Ben Pleat of Herricks High; Minah Kim of Paul D. Schreiber High in Port Washington; Albert Kim, Archie Chakming Kong and Randy Tung of Manhasset Secondary School; Shujat Ali Khan and Shamoon Syed Rizvi of East Meadow High; Aneri Kinariwalla of Sayville High; Karalyn Pappas, Arthur Wang and Stephanie Ying of Manhasset High; and Trinity Russell of Commack High.
The Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts in Wheatley Heights partnered with the Long Island Community Foundation to offer micro grants of up to $400 that allowed about 15 Brentwood high schoolers to obtain music supplies and private lessons in the 2012-13 school year.
The program also offered seven-week tuition scholarships to 10 students.
"This program reaches out to low-income students faced with economic obstacles that keep them from fully developing their talents," said David Okorn, the foundation's director.
LI Math Fair
The Commack school district won 16 gold medals — the most of any Suffolk County district — in the 2013 Long Island Math Fair at Hofstra University.
The competition, sponsored by the Nassau and Suffolk math teachers associations, required pupils in grades 7-12 to submit an essay on any math topic and give a 15- minute presentation.
Other top-performing Suffolk districts, and the gold medal totals for each, included Northport-East Northport with six, Half Hollow Hills in Dix Hills with three, and Three Village in East Setauket with one.
Mock trial champs
A 15-student team from William Floyd High School beat out Mount Academy in upstate Esopus to win the state's mock trial tournament last month in Albany.
To reach the state level, William Floyd outlasted 25 teams to win the Suffolk County title and then took the Long Island title against Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset — making it the school's fourth straight regional title. Teams were judged on the strength of cases and knowledge of the legal proceedings.
This year's fictional case involved a young man who attended a computer programming college but accused the school of "deceptive marketing" after finding himself deep in debt and unable to find a job, William Floyd team coach Bill Hennessey said.
Eleven Long Island students are among 2,500 winners nationwide of college-sponsored scholarships issued through the National Merit Scholarship Corp. The awards provide from $500 to $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at institutions financing the scholarship.
Winners were Rabia Aslam and Rebekah Sugarman of Syosset High School, Sophie Downes of Northport High School, Paul Havens and Sohini Upadhyay of Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, Alexandra Isaia of Oceanside High School, Josh Landman of Roslyn High School, Max Lee of Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills, Joseph Mogavero of Massapequa High School, Alexis Weitzner of Huntington High School, and Julia Morris of Bellmore, who is home-schooled.