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Suffolk: State Science Olympiad winner

A team from Ward Melville that won the

A team from Ward Melville that won the high school division of the 2013 New York State Science Olympiad. Gelinas Junior High, also from Three Village district, won the middle school division. Credit: Handout

The Three Village Central School District swept the state level of the 2013 New York State Science Olympiad and will go on to compete nationally next month.

Earlier this month, teams from Ward Melville High School and Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School, both in East Setauket, took first place in the high school and middle school divisions, respectively, at the state competition in Syracuse.

Students vied in 18 events, ranging from identifying rocks and minerals to investigating a mock crime. The teams next will compete at the national tournament in Dayton, Ohio, on May 17-18.

"The success of these students is a clear reflection of their passion and continued drive," said Stephen Malusa, co-coach of the Ward Melville team.

To reach the state level, the teams took first place last month in the high school and middle school divisions of the Eastern Long Island Science Olympiad, consisting of 35 and 50 Suffolk teams, respectively. Those events took place at Ward Melville and at Candlewood Middle School in Dix Hills.

"One reason for our success is the amount of time that these students devote to preparing for the tournaments, and their dedication to each other," Gelinas coach Gary Vorwald said.

In Nassau County, Syosset High School and Great Neck South Middle School won the high school and middle school levels, respectively, of the Western Long Island Science Olympiad.



Youth and government

William Floyd High School captured eight of the 12 elected leadership positions -- including the top spot of governor -- last month in the 77th New York State YMCA Youth & Government Annual Conference in Albany.

The model government conference asks teens to write mock legislation, lobby for and against bills, and preside over legislative chambers.



Holocaust survivor

Port Jefferson Middle School students learned about underlying similarities between bullying and the violence of the Holocaust last month during a visit by Werner Reich of Smithtown, a Holocaust survivor.

Reich shared his story of survival in the Auschwitz concentration camp and stressed the importance of helping those in need.

In other news, Edna Louise Spear Elementary School recently raised $6,000 for the American Heart Association via "Jump Rope for Heart" and "Hoops for Heart" fundraisers.



Robotics winners

Eleven Suffolk County teams were winners earlier this month in the 14th annual Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition at Hofstra University.

More than 1,200 students from 50 high schools in the tri-state area teamed up to design, program and build robots in a six-week time frame.

This year's theme, "Ultimate Ascent," challenged teams of three to throw as many flying discs as possible into goals and climb pyramids during roughly two-minute matches.

Suffolk's winning districts were: Smithtown, Musical Performance Award; Lindenhurst, Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award; Comsewogue, Xerox Creativity and Regional Finalist No. 3 Awards; Patchogue-Medford, Delphi Engineering Excellence Award; Half Hollow Hills, Judge's Award; West Islip, Motorola Quality Award; Sachem, Johnson & Johnson Gracious Professionalism Award; Longwood, Chrysler Team Spirit Award; Center Moriches, Rookie Inspiration Award; Westhampton Beach, Regional Winner No. 3 Award; Hauppauge, Regional Winner No. 2 and Regional Chairman's Awards.

FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.



Achievement scholars

Seventeen Long Island seniors are among about 800 African-American students nationwide to win $2,500 achievement scholarships this year through the National Merit Scholarship Corp. They were evaluated based on academic achievement, teacher recommendations and SAT scores, among other factors.

Winners are Michael Butler Jr., Jamell Dozier and Arielle Martinez of Baldwin High School; Jordan Duprey of Chaminade High School, Mineola; Arielle Horowitz of Commack High School; Kim Okoli of Bishop McGann-Mercy High School, Riverhead; Josiana Lacrete of Half Hollow Hills High School West, Dix Hills; Andrew Eccles of Elmont Memorial High School; Hunter Frederick of Freeport High School; Sean Michael Pierre of Great Neck North High School; Nebiyou Getahun and White Noah Kennedy of Jericho High School; Woodlynn Daniel of Oceanside High School; Justine Hamilton of South Side High School, Rockville Centre; Ayokunle Fagbemi of Valley Stream North High School; Isaiah Genece of Long Island Lutheran High School, Brookville; and Kim Nicolas of Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, Hicksville.

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