An enterprising group of 11- and 12-year-olds from Stewart Manor, Garden City and Westbury who call themselves the Robotic Rebels competed in the 10th Annual Long Island FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League (FLL) Championship Tournament held on March 2 at Longwood High School in Middle Island. The team gained entry into the championship round after they won the 2nd Place Champion’s Award at a qualifying tournament held in Central Islip last month.
Guided by coaches Steve Giammona and Brian Sanguyu, team members Keith DeStaebler, Steven Giammona, Justin MacFall, Christina Marciano, Ronnie Marciano, Kevin McGoldrick and Anthony Sanguyu worked for six months to build and program a robot to perform challenging missions and completed an in-depth research project to identify a problem and develop an innovative solution with regard to this year’s FLL theme: Nature’s Fury.
There continues to be much discussion surrounding the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards with nearly daily press coverage on the topic. To address specific concerns in Garden City, Dr. Teresa Prendergast, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, presented a comprehensive report at the Feb. 4 Board of Education Work Session, after which parents posed questions and made statements. The district recognizes and shares many of the concerns expressed by parents and encourages communication with local legislators. As Dr. Feirsen explained, personal letters to these local officials can be the most effective in advocating for change. Dr. Prendergast’s report is available on the home page of the district’s website, under the “Information Updates” tab.
In a heartfelt presentation by Hakeem Rahim, a representative from the National Alliance on Mental Illness who has spoken to over 4,000 students in the last year alone, Garden City High School tenth-graders learned of the warning signs of mental illness and how to help those suffering from the disease. Rahim’s powerful presentation was part of Garden City’s health education program. He shared a wealth of information with the students about the different forms mental illness can take—depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, OCD, eating disorders— and shared statistics: one out of five adolescents and one out of four adults experience mental illness, including well-known celebrities such as Ben Stiller and J.K. Rowling. Rahim also shared his own story about developing panic attacks while pursuing his degree at Harvard.
- Submitted by Garden City Public Schools
The second-graders in my class at Stewart School really enjoy learning about science. Recently, the students studied living things of the past, most notably, fossils. They learned that fossils are the remains of plants or animals that became buried in mud and hardened into rock over time, and they developed and understanding of how paleontologists search for fossils to learn about life from over 65 million years ago.
As part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiative, Garden City Public Schools sponsors two robotics teams—the LEGO Monkeys and Trojan Army. These two teams and four additional teams supported by Garden City parents competed in the 10th Annual FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Tournaments held at Central Islip High School on Feb. 1 and 2.
Two Stewart Avenue students of art teacher Melissa Pashayan were selected by Anton Newspapers to be featured in its 2014-15 calendar. Third-graders Vanessa Law (pictured at right), who created a winter landscape, and Gabriel Psilakis’s cave art project each received its own month, and were featured on the calendar cover. “It was very exciting to see the students’ artwork in big print,” said Ms. Pashayan. “For the polar bears, the students created a snowy landscape using chalk pastels and then drew their own polar bears. For the cave art project, I demonstrated how to crumple, rip, and paint paper to represent the inside of a cave wall. The students then drew animals on the paper using oil pastels. I am really proud of the work my students created.”
Submitted by Garden City Public Schools
On Feb. 6, students from Garden City Middle School conducted anti-bullying lessons with fifth-grade students from Stratford and Stewart Elementary Schools. In an effort to help build bridges between schools, students worked together to help identify ways of eliminating or standing up to bullying in our community.
A Garden City High School all-girl team recently captured first place for Long Island (of 972 teams) and second place in New York State (of 1,486 teams) in Newsday’s Fall Stock Market competition. “We were really surprised and thrilled because there were so many teams in the competition,” explained junior Deanna DiPierro. “We were fairly sure we put together a good portfolio, though.”
“The girls chose solid companies with a good record of earnings,” said business teacher Reid Sclafani. “They worked as a team and their wisdom and patience paid off.” Garden City High School has now won the high school division of Newsday’s Stock Market Game two of the last three years, first placing in the competition in the fall of 2011. Garden City’s team will be honored at an awards ceremony in June.
Submitted By Garden City Public Schools
On Jan. 25, Garden City High School students competed in the Brookhaven National Laboratory Regional Science Bowl in Upton, N.Y. Garden City fielded the only all-girls team at the competition, an accomplishment that was made all the more timely as the theme for this year’s event was “The International Year of Crystallography,” honoring Rosalind Franklin’s contributions to the discovery of the DNA double helix. Students first heard from Dr. Ken White, manager of educational programs at Brookhaven National Laboratory, who announced the opening of a new supercollider on the laboratory campus, and invited students to apply for summer internships at the labs.
As part of its Black History Month celebration, Nassau Community College (NCC) is pleased to present a program by prominent activist and author Sister Souljah, who will speak about her life experiences. Sister Souljah: My Experience as an Activist will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 11:30 a.m. in the multi-purpose room of the College Center building.
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