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Science Olympiad Teams Place in Regional Competition

Science Olympiad Teams Place in Regional Competition photo
Science Olympiad Teams Place in Regional Competition photo 2
Science Olympiad Teams Place in Regional Competition photo 3
The John F. Kennedy and Sanford H. Calhoun science departments each fielded Science Olympiad teams that earned high rankings at the Nassau East Regional Science Olympiad held on Feb. 3 at Wantagh High School.

The Kennedy Science Olympiad Team A placed 12th out of 43 teams and Team B placed 17th. At the regional competition, Cougar Science Olympians earned medals in 12 events: Chemistry Lab, eighth place, Matt Molzon and James Hayes; Disease Detectives, ninth place, Katherine St. George and Mikaela Milch; Duct Tape Challenge, third place, Marielena Delgado and Cecelia Hayes; Fermi Questions, 10th place, Aidan Benjamin and Andrew Kessler; Game On, seventh place, Jack Racer and Jack Kelly; Herpetology, eighth place, Allie Zalewski and Summer Hasseck; Hovercraft, fifth place, Aidan Short, Gary Benjamin and Jack Kelly; Microbe Mission, first place, James Hayes and Mikaela Milch; Mousetrap Vehicle, third place, Gary Benjamin and Matt Molzon; Optics, third place, Gary Benjamin and Matt Molzon; Remote Sensing, eighth place, James Hayes and Kevin Ivers; Towers, eighth place, Analisa Coppa; and Write it Do It, third place, Faith Fernandez and Whitney Sussman.

Coaches were Russell Lella, Dan Jantzen and Helmut Schleith.

This year, Calhoun brought 60 students to the Science Olympiads competition. The students medaled in five events and together as a team were given the spirit award. Medalists include: Lauren Jones, Ailish Curran, Julia Oladipo, Clare Hunter, Zach Neiger, Joe Hoefenkrieg, Frankie Martin, Jack Latham, Katherine Ryan and Juliana Welk. Coaches were Daytona Melo and Richard Ludwig.

Science Research Students Advance to LISEF Round 2

Science Research Students Advance to LISEF Round 2 photo
Science Research Students Advance to LISEF Round 2 photo 2
Science Research Students Advance to LISEF Round 2 photo 3
Science Research Students Advance to LISEF Round 2 photo 4
After a long and arduous day of presenting their research to professional judges from all over Long Island, five students in the district received notice that their projects would be advancing to Long Island Science & Engineering Fair Round 2. 

Sanford H. Calhoun High School senior Kyle Pilotti and sophomore Sonia Sarju, John F. Kennedy seniors Cameron Levy and Lucas Rosen, and Wellington C. Mepham senior Yusuf Hasan will battle on March 7 to win a spot to attend the International Science Engineering Fair competition, which will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in May.

Hasan’s project is titled "The Effects of Homocysteine and Amyloid Beta on the SH-SY5Y Cell Line."

Levy’s research, “An Analysis of the Interactions Among the Histone Deacetylase Sir2, TOR Signaling, and the Heat Shock Response Instigator Heat Shock Factor 1,” was completed at Long Island University, CW POST.

Pilotti's project, "Predicted and Observed Wind Profiles Over Southampton, NY," was conducted over the summer at Stony Brook Simon's Summer Research Program.

Rosen will move forward in the mathematics category. His project is titled “PEACE and WAR: Eliminating Luck to Project True Offensive Value of Major League Baseball Batters.”

Sarju hit the ground running as the only sophomore in the ASR program. She worked as part of a team with students from St. Anthony’s and Syosset high schools on the project, "ZnO NP Regulation: Identification of the IRT1 Ortholog in Lemma minor," at the iResearch Institute this past summer.

Calhoun Duo Awarded Science Research Grants

Calhoun Duo Awarded Science Research Grants photo
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Calhoun Duo Awarded Science Research Grants photo 3
Calhoun Duo Awarded Science Research Grants photo 4

Two students in Calhoun High School’s Advanced Science Research program were recipients of a $200 research grant each for their recent research proposals.

Courtney Lange, 18, and Amelia Seabold, 17, both of Merrick, were awarded $200 NYIT Mini Research Grants.

“The Life Sciences faculty review committee has determined your submission to have scientific merit and potential impact, and we are confident your studies will contribute to the field of science and technology,” stated the grant award letters.

Lange’s research, The Poweroff Study, delves into how a common natural dietary supplement affects sleep quality. Her study is being conducted at NYU Langone.

“Sleep quality is something that affects everyone,” Lange said of her research. “I wanted to learn more through the study, which is currently in the recruitment phase.” 

Her thesis is that the dietary supplement will have a positive effect on sleep quality.
“I was impressed with her drive and passion for the field of psychology,” said said Jennifer Pefanis, director of the school’s Advanced Science Research program. “Courtney has had the opportunity to get her feet wet with several different studies over the summer and school year, gaining much experience.”

Seabold, the Class of 2018 salutatorian, researched patients with the autoimmune disease ANCA vasculitis and their overproduction of a certain protein. 

“I used a gene editing technology to lower the production of this protein by mutating the gene that causes its transcription,” Seabold explained. “It’s so amazing to be able to change someone’s genetic make up. That can be used for so many therapeutic benefits.”

“Amelia is one of the most driven students that I have ever worked with. She has displayed true grit through her passion and perseverance for her research project,” added Pefanis.

For the past two summers, Seabold has traveled to North Carolina to conduct necessary research at UNC Chapel Hill.

“Amelia takes on a lot of challenges, but never accepts a challenge without seeing it through to the end,” added Pefanis.

ASR students have already begun the arduous task of transforming their research papers into a PowerPoint, creating a poster board, and presenting on their topic at both local and regional research competitions.

“This grant has allowed the Advanced Science Research Program at Calhoun High School to help fund the printing and presenting of our research projects at our local and regional science research competitions,” added Pefanis.

Former ASR Student Published in Psychology Journal

Former ASR Student Published in Psychology Journal photo
Former Advanced Science Research Student, Jonathan Ellison, a member of the Calhoun High School class of 2017, was recently published in the latest issue of The Whitman Journal of Psychology.  

Ellison submitted his senior year's research project entitled Motor, Cognitive, and Quality of Life Scores in Parkinson's Patients during the spring of 2017 and it was chosen for the October 2017 issue. 
Here is the link to the website for the journal;

Bellmore-Merrick Students ‘Paws’ and Reflect Canine Visit

Bellmore-Merrick Students ‘Paws’ and Reflect Canine Visit photo
Bellmore-Merrick Students ‘Paws’ and Reflect Canine Visit photo 2
Bellmore-Merrick Students ‘Paws’ and Reflect Canine Visit photo 3
Students from the Meadowbrook Alternative Program and Calhoun High School’s PREP special education program in the Bellmore-Merrick Central School District recently collaborated on a donation effort for Canine Companions for Independence. 

CCI provides people with disabilities highly trained assistance dogs.

“The visit included an informational talk by the CCI staff, a tour of the training facility and a presentation on how a service dog assists individuals,” said MAP psychologist Dr. Joseph Netto. “The purpose of this visit to CCI was to expose students to service dogs and to visit an organization that was designated as a beneficiary of MAP’s donated pet goods.”

Since their November visit to the Medford-based training facility, the students collected items for their new furry friends. On Jan. 12, Canine Companions’ staff members and two service dogs visited MAP to collect the items. The effort was in participation of the district wide Day of Service, which was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“After listening to and taking part in the interactive presentation, the students presented the CCI staff with over 25 bags of dog food, toys, supplies and animal care products,” Dr. Netto explained.

Poet Billy Lamont Visits CHSD for Workshop

Poet Billy Lamont Visits CHSD for Workshop photo

Calhoun High School and Merrick Avenue Middle School welcomed performance poet Billy Lamont.

Lamont facilitated two poetry-writing workshops with high school and middle school creative writing students. 

Lamont, who has conducted similar workshops for students elsewhere in Nassau County, shared some of the poetry he has written through the years, discussed his creative process, and led students through various creative writing prompts. 

“The workshop, which was funded by a BMCHSD Mini Grant awarded to the English Department, concluded with a performance poetry showcase where student participants had an opportunity to share some of their own creative work,” said English chairperson Adeline Atkins.