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BOCES duo wins LI round of National Automotive Technology Competition

Western Suffolk BOCES' Wilson Technological Center teacher Ralph

Western Suffolk BOCES' Wilson Technological Center teacher Ralph Savarese, left, is seen with students Jordan Hallen, center, and Matt Bizzaro, who won first place in the Long Island round of the National Automotive Technology Competition. Credit: Dominick Totino Photography

Two Western Suffolk BOCES students have taken the top spot in a local auto competition.

Matt Bizzaro, 17, and Jordan Hallen, 17, who attend Wilson Technological Center in Northport, won first place last month in the Long Island round of the National Automotive Technology Competition, which attracted 20 local teams.

The competition, coordinated by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, required two-student teams to demonstrate their skills as auto technicians at 15 different workstations. Tasks ranged from measuring a tire's tread depth to answering questions about air-conditioning systems.

For winning, Bizzaro and Hallen received prizes including $14,500 in scholarships and a $500 Megatech Corp. gift certificate for their school. They and the four runner-up teams will compete next week at the regional level for a chance to reach the national finals in the spring at the New York International Auto Show.

"I was pretty confident we would do well; the areas I'm weak in Matt is strong in, and vice versa," said Hallen, a senior at Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills. Bizzaro is a senior at Smithtown High School West.

Among the runners-up, second place went to Matthew Anderson and William Burns of Eastern Suffolk BOCES' Harry B. Ward Technical Center in Riverhead, while third place went to James Curtin and Hovnan Orangian of Nassau BOCES' Joseph M. Barry Career & Technical Education Center in Westbury.

Fourth place went to Robert Mayer and Joseph Vicale of Gerald R. Claps Career and Technical Center in Levittown, and fifth place went to Peter Biondo and Eustacio Hernandez of Harry B. Ward Technical Center.


Yoga Club

John F. Kennedy Intermediate School recently launched a Yoga Club to help children manage stress and incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives. 

The after-school club, which spanned 10 weeks last fall, attracted more than 60 students split into two groups to accommodate the volume of participants. It will likely be offered again next school year, school officials said. 

"I hope the club will be able to teach all of our students what to do to manage stress, and ultimately promote overall mental health and well-being," said club adviser Michelle Cangelosi.


Student collaboration

A group of seventh-graders from William Floyd Middle School recently presented interactive lessons on exploration to fifth-graders at Moriches Elementary School as part of a new student collaboration.

The lessons are designed to help prepare the fifth-graders for what to expect when they transition to their new building next school year. They will visit the middle school this spring to continue the shared learning experiences.

"We want to provide opportunities for our middle school students to exhibit leadership skills and have our elementary school students be able to experience what they will be learning," Moriches Principal Deirdre Redding said.


Amazon Future Engineer

Five Long Island high schools — Garden City, Longwood, North Babylon, Walt Whitman and Wantagh — have been designated as Amazon Future Engineer schools for the 2019-20 school year. They will join Central Islip High School, the only other Long Island school using the AFE curriculum.

The Amazon Future Engineer initiative is designed to provide students with access to AP computer science courses, college scholarships and paid internships in software engineering. Amazon is providing the coursework for the classes through a partnership with Amazon Web Services Educate and the online learning platform Edhesive.

 "This program will provide our future generation of innovators with the tools necessary for a rapidly changing technological world," Longwood Superintendent Michael Lonergan said.

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