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Students Wow At Science Fair

How do you get salt out of saltwater? Does a family have the same type of fingerprints? What makes taco sauce an effective penny cleaner? These were just some of the questions that were answered at the Hicksville Gregory Museum Science Fair this past weekend.

Almost 50 students in first through 12th grade presented their projects to a group of judges in the basement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Stephen on Saturday. The 36 projects (excluding those submitted by first and second graders) were experiments that followed the scientific method. Students were judged on how well they followed the scientific method, their originality and how much thought they put into it.

“This teaches kids to work on their own,” said museum curator Don Curran. “It’s important for kids to do something like this and learn how science really works. It’s taught in the classroom but with this you know that they’re really into science because they do this in place of other activities.”

Our Lady of Mercy 6th grader Christine Lupo from Hicksville did an experiment to see what the ideal conditions for growing grass were. Over nine days, she tested the effects of varying levels of light, water and fertilizer on grass seeds.

“I found out fertilizer slows down the process,” Lupo says. “I thought the grass in the darkness wouldn’t grow at all, but it did and changed color because of the amount of chlorophyll.”  

Lupo says science is her favorite subject and that she enjoyed participating in the science fair.

“I like when the judges come and ask questions,” she said. “I think it’s a way to prove yourself and show what you’re capable of doing.”

Adriana Schumacker from Plainview won first place in her grade group at the science fair last year, and said that was a motivator for her to participate again. Her experiment was titled “Is Your Pet A Righty Or Lefty.” Through various tests, she determined that her horse, cat and dog were all right dominant.

“I knew humans were lefty or righty so I thought why not try this on my pets. I loved seeing that the pets I’m around all the time really do have a paw preference,” Schumacker said. “So when I’m with the horse and she doesn’t cooperate, maybe it’s because she doesn’t like the direction I’m turning her in. When I’m with the dog maybe he doesn’t like going down stairs a certain way.”

Aliyah Barrow from Westbury also used plants in her experiment. The Our Lady of Mercy sixth grader put six fresh daffodils in different types of liquids to see which would make the flowers wilt the fastest.  

“I found that the floor cleaner and vegetable oil made them die quickly,” said Barrow. “My hypothesis was right because I thought that the floor cleaner would make it die because it had lots of acid in it.”

Matthew Labarca, a fourth grader at Old Country Road school, wanted to know if his whole family had the same type of fingerprint pattern. Labarca dabbed his family’s fingerprints in ink and used a chart to examine the patterns of each one.

“My conclusion was that my dad and mom had arches on their fingerprints, but my brother and I did not. My hypothesis was wrong because I thought they’d all have the same type of fingerprints,” said Labarca.

The volunteer judges Umna Alam, Usra Alam, Terrence Bissoondial, Amy Curran, Michael O’Connell and Sowmya Sundaresh named the following students the winners:

Grades 1 and 2: High Honors—Saeem Ashraf, East Street School “How To Increase Power”

Honors—Elizabeth Manton, Stokes-Island Trees “Volcanoes and Igneous Rocks”

Honorable Mention—Bailey Keesee, Stokes-Island Trees “Erupting Volcano;” Haasika Reddy Pasham, Old Country Road and Saivamsi Nanugonda, East Street “Lava Lamp;” Rimsha Khan, East Street “Electric Circuit”

Grades 3 and 4: High Honors—Tyler Bissoondial, Winthrop Elementary—Bellmore “The Effect of High Salt and Microbes On The Growth of Plants”

Honors—Pearl Gupta and Sonia Virmani, Woodland “Taste Perception;” Matthew LaBarca, Old Country Road “Finger Print Project”

Honorable Mention—Alisha Khan, East Street “The Paddle Boogie Board”

Grades 5 and 6: High Honors—Aliyah Barrow, Our Lady of Mercy “Which Liquid Makes A Flower Wilt?” Christine Lupo, Our Lady of Mercy “Growing Grass”

Honors—Harold Watkin-Fox, Plainview Old Bethpage MS “What Effect Does Alcohol Have On Brain Cells?”

Honorable Mention—Adriana Schumacher, Our Lady of Mercy “Is Your Pet A Righty Or A Lefty?” Anajali Mishra and Dylan Gaznabbi, Hicksville Middle School “Solar Oven”

Grades 7 and 8: High Honors—Priyansh Raval, Hicksville Middle School “Do Gas Stations Cause Soil Pollution?” Srishti Tyagi, Hicksville Middle School “The Effect of Wavelength of Visible Light On Photovoltaic Cell Electricity Generation”

Honors—Krish Patel, Mohit Patel and Monit Patel; Hicksville Middle School “Power Efficiency”

Honorable Mention—Mohammad  Alam, Woodland Middle School—East Meadow “Home Made Lava Lamp”

Grade 9: High Honors—Sameen Khan, Hicksville High School “Effect of Different Music On Emotion”

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com