At a recent FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) competition, the Plainedge High School Robotics Team #527 was honored with the competition’s prestigious Chairman’s Award. It honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST, whose mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders.
The Bunsen Berners Science Olympiad Team from Alfred G. Berner Middle School won a third-place medal at the 2014 Division B Regional Competition after going against 39 other schools throughout Nassau County in more than 20 events centered on science, technology, and engineering. The team came in 16th place overall.
Birch Lane Elementary School sixth graders researched and presented a Greek god or goddess to their classmates after studying Ancient Greece through their Integrated Social Studies/ELA Common Core curriculum. Showing their creative sides, the students portrayed their god or goddess while summarizing a myth and the character traits their god possesses. These myths, which serve as the background to Greek history, range from love stories to violent battles, according to sixth-grade teachers Kathryn Pullen, Lisa Veltre and Heather Kulok. As part of the New York State ELA curriculum, the students compared these gods and goddesses to the characters from The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan.
— Observer Staff
Five teams from the Massapequa School District will compete in the New York State Odyssey of the Mind contest at Binghamton University April 12 after capturing four first-place and one second-place win at the regional tournament at Nassau BOCES Rosemary Kennedy School in Wantagh earlier this month. Massapequa will be represented by more teams than any other district on Long Island.
Odyssey of the Mind is an International educational program based on creative problem-solving. Students select from a variety of problems that range from building mechanical devices to interpreting literary classics and compete at the local, state and world levels. Massapequa sent 20 teams to the regional competition.
Massapequa High School students John Latini and Gianna Schmidt were recognized for community service by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program.
After logging in more than 100 hours, John was honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which was presented on behalf of President Barack Obama. Gianna was named a Local Honoree for her volunteer efforts. The awards salute the contributions made by young volunteers and recognize them as role models among their peers.
With cowboy hats, plaid shirts and bandanas tied around their necks McKenna Elementary School students swung their partners to fiddle-picking music at the Second Annual All American Hoedown.
Students learned how to square dance in their physical education classes as a way to develop teamwork skills, rhythm, auditory processing and large motor skills, according to physical education teachers Kieran O’Brien, Karen Flynn and Michael Viola. The hoedown showcased their skills before hundreds of parents and friends as they danced to the music of Bob Ruff and Jack Capon.
The hoedown was judged by staff members and 24 winners who performed and dressed the best were treated to a lunch at All American Hamburger.
A new recipe for success is cooking up at Massapequa High School. Through a new collaborative effort, spearheaded by the district’s School Lunch Director Paul Heckelman, special needs students in the Life Skills program are gaining valuable job skills by delivering lunch orders from the school cafeteria to the administrative staff on a daily basis.
The Life Skills program, otherwise known as the “Community Career Connections” program, is designed to support students with severe disabilities to develop interest in potential careers while learning necessary life skills that will enhance their ability to live and work more independently.
Two Advanced Placement art students from Massapequa High School were among a select group of students from Long Island who were recognized for their talent at the LIU Post Advanced Visions 10: High School Artists of Excellence Exhibit. Senior Justin Jakubowski received an Honorable Mention for his charcoal self-portrait and senior Kristin Schmelzle received a Jurors Award for her mixed media piece, titled “Don’t be Greedy.” The students’ work was submitted for selection by Advanced Placement art teacher Gale Domingo and was on display at the Hillwood S.A.L. Gallery for six weeks. The exhibit, sponsored by the Art Department of LIU Post, culminated with an awards reception.
The act of giving back was experienced at its finest by one special member of our U. S. military and a teacher who encouraged her students to remember the troops.
Students in Jenny Gillam’s Personal Computer Applications class at Alfred G. Berner Middle School wrote letters and sent them, along with donated items, to soldiers; a project she’s done with her students since the 9/11 attacks. While the majority of the letters were dropped off at Adopt-A-Battalion in Massapequa Park and sent to Afghanistan, the Adopt-A-Battalion was also able to send some to a soldier stationed in Georgia with special ties to Berner Middle School.
The importance of not using your cellphone while driving was reiterated to students at Plainedge High School during a Hang Up and Drive presentation by guest speaker Jacy Good, who was in a tragic car accident the day she graduated from college. The accident took the life of her parents and left her with a 10 percent chance of surviving the night.
Her message of determination in beating the odds and story of how she came to understand how the accident happened offered firsthand insight into the repercussions of not only using your cellphone while driving, but not wearing a seatbelt. Her family’s car was hit by a 30-ton tractor trailer while it swerved out of the way to avoid hitting a car that went through a red light because the driver was distracted while making a phone call. Good’s mother, who was seated in the back, should have received the least impact from the crash, but was not wearing a seatbelt.
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