Teams from Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma and Wantagh High School took the top spots for Suffolk and Nassau counties, respectively, at the 2014 Long Island Regional Envirothon.
Students in the 16th annual competition took written exams and participated in outdoor challenges in aquatics, forestry, soil and wildlife. They also gave oral presentations on the topic of sustainable local agriculture.
Thirty-five teams participated in April at Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts in Wheatley Heights. The two winning squads went on to compete at the state level last month at upstate Morrisville State College.
"I am extremely proud of this group of students," said Sachem North adviser Monica Marlowe, noting the school's Envirothon Club wasn't initially funded this year because of budget issues. "These students, especially club president Charles Horn, successfully lobbied all the administrators for the opportunity to compete in Envirothon by writing letters and personally advocating for all the benefits of participation."
Sachem's team members were Natalie DeQuarto, Charles Horn, Danielle Paynter, Grant Pham and Emily Watson. Wantagh's team members were Andrew Bloniarz, Julia Laibach, Emily Latif, Sophia Liu and Jaclyn Onufrey. Each student received a $500 scholarship.
"The Envirothon engages the next generation of environmental stewards in learning activities that promote the protection, preservation and restoration of natural resources," event organizer Sharon Frost said.
The local competition was coordinated by the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Nassau and Suffolk counties.
NY History Day
The Commack and South Huntington school districts had winning projects in various categories of New York State History Day -- the sole victors among Suffolk County entrants.
The program, sponsored by the state Historical Association, encourages students to explore local, national and world history using libraries, museums and oral interviews.
The winners were Elizabeth Jacobs of Commack Middle School, and Joshua Joseph, Kentaro Matsushima and Alexandra Sherry of Stimson Middle School in Huntington Station, who submitted two projects among them.
The Herricks school district, with 12 winning projects, led the way among Long Island districts.
Turn Off Your TV
Roanoke Avenue Elementary School recently encouraged students to steer clear of television and video games for a full week in favor of other forms of entertainment and learning during the school's "Turn Off Your TV Week." A total of 149 students participated out of 410.
"This week is a good reminder for all about the importance of turning off the television and turning on to . . . other interactive events with our families," principal Thomas Payton said.
Participating pupils kept lists of their non-electronic activities, which ranged from gardening to helping parents in the kitchen, school officials said.
Seven Suffolk County students were named winners of $2,500 scholarships last month by the National Merit Scholarship Corp.
The students had the "strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies," the corporation said.
The winners were: Grace Cimaszewski of St. Anthony's High School in Melville; Justin Cheung of Commack High School; Cody Cao of Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills; Carly Grossman of East Hampton High School; Brian Gilbert of Huntington High School; and Carolina Zheng and Alan Wei of Ward Melville High School in East Setauket.
LI Quiz Bowl
Teams from Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale and Great Neck South High School took first place in the varsity and junior varsity divisions, respectively, of the Long Island Regional Quiz Bowl, held at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School.
The bowl is based on topics covered in academic areas and information that "some people might consider trivia," bowl officials said.
Participating schools come together for five round-robin competitions during the school year. The two top schools from each region, plus two wild card teams, vied in the final tournament.
Runner-up teams in the varsity division were from Farmingdale High School, Roslyn High School and Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills.
Runner-up teams in the junior varsity division came from Kellenberg Memorial, Baldwin High School and Ward Melville High School in East Setauket.