Happening at the Great Neck School District

Happening at the Great Neck School District

Two South High seniors named Coca-Cola Scholarship regional finalists

Two South High School seniors have been announced as Regional Finalists in the 2023 Coca-Cola Scholars Program. Kevin Ou Yang and Rachel Woo are among 14 Regional Finalists from New York State. Only 250 students nationwide achieve Finalist status in this prestigious scholarship program.

Regional Finalists advance to the next phase of the selection process, which includes a 20-minute interview with a Regional Interview Committee comprised of a Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation staff member and previous Coca-Cola Scholars Program scholarship recipients. After the interviews, 150 students will be named Coca-Cola Scholars and receive a $20,000 college scholarship.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program recognizes students nationwide for their academic excellence, leadership, and service demonstrated in school and community activities. It is one of the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship programs in the United States.

Long Island Brain Bee winner

South High School sophomore Erin Wong is the winner of the fifth-annual Long Island Brain Bee, hosted by the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell on March 4. As the regional winner, Erin has earned a spot in the USA Brain Bee Championship at the University of California in April.

Erin is the first student from South High to ever win the LI Brain Bee at the Zucker School of Medicine. This year’s competition included over 70 students representing more than 25 Long Island high schools.

The LI Brain Bee is a one-day competition and the first leg of a nationwide competition. As the first-place finisher at this regional contest, Erin will advance to the USA Brain Bee Championship at the University of California, from April 21-23, and vie for a chance to compete on the worldwide stage at the International Brain Bee in Washington, DC, from August 1-5.

The annual LI Brain Bee exposes high school students to the study of the brain and encourages early career interest in the fields of neuroscience research and clinical sciences. Participants also learn about the importance of scientific discovery to advance understanding of the brain and the treatment of neurological disorders.

High School Long Island Science and Engineering Fair

A total of 12 science research students from North High School and South High School received awards at the 2023 Long Island Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF), held on March 7. Two projects from South High were awarded first place in their respective categories and will advance as Finalists to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), to be held in Dallas, TX, in May.

Grand Awards

Grand Awards—first place, second place, third place, and honorable mention—are awarded to the top presenters in each of 15 research categories.

Two pairs of students from South High won first-place awards at LISEF and will advance to the ISEF in May. Luke Huang and Yida (Aiden) Pan received first place in the math, physics, and astronomy category for their project, “VaSt-ID: Novel Application for Variable Star Identification and Classification using Machine Learning.” Yifu (Evan) Zuo and Richard Xu won first place in the translational medicine category for their project, “FetA.I.: A novel fetal health classification program using soft voting with deep and ensemble learning.”

South High’s Andria Chen was awarded second place in the biomedical health category, and Dana Kagan and Amber Sun each received third-place awards in the cellular biology and biomedical engineering categories, respectively.

Five students received honorable mentions: Rena Geula, North High, behavioral and social sciences category; Addison Kelbanov, North High, cellular and molecular biology category; Shaan Merchant, South High, environmental engineering category; Amit Saha, South High, computational biology category; and Xinyi (Zoe) Zhang, South High, translational medicine category.

Special Awards

Six South High students were named as recipients of Special Awards, which are presented by various science associations, government agencies, and private companies in recognition of outstanding research in specific areas.

Shaan Merchant received an award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, for performing exemplary studies in environmental sciences. Amit Saha, Yifu (Evan) Zuo, and Richard Xu received awards from the U.S. Navy & Marine Corps, Office of Naval Research, in recognition of their high-achieving projects. Luke Huang and Yida (Aiden) Pan received an award from the U.S. Air Force for achievement in aerospace and technology-related fields.

Great Neck’s high school science research programs are led by advisors Christopher Bambino, Alison Widawsky, and Jessica York at North High, and advisors Nicole Spinelli and Dr. James Truglio at South High.

The Long Island Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF) is a competition for the most advanced high school projects and gives students the opportunity to present to professionals in their subject areas from local universities, scientific institutions, and professionals in the field.

South High School’s 53rd Annual opera production scheduled for March 31–April 1

Continuing its long-standing tradition of performing outstanding full-scale opera with live music, South High School will present Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) on Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, both at 7:30 p.m., in the school’s Ruel E. Tucker Auditorium, 341 Lakeville Road.

This opera is a witty yet profound tale of love, betrayal, and forgiveness. Figaro, a barber turned into Count Almaviva’s major-domo, advised him to marry Rosina, but their marriage has gone sour because of the Count’s philandering. Figaro is engaged to Susanna, Countess Rosina’s maid—and the Count’s next intended conquest. Add to the mix, crusty, old Dr. Bartolo, who seeks revenge on Figaro for taking Rosina away from him, and his assistant, the slimy, music-master, Don Basilio. Contributing to the fun are an amorous teenager, a scheming old maid, a drunken gardener, and a silly young girl.

This opera production is under the musical direction of Dr. Janine Robinson, vocal music teacher; conducted by Michael Schwartz, performing arts department head; and directed by Robert Stivanello.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for senior citizens, students, and children. Tickets may be reserved in advance (suggested) by calling 516-441-4851, or emailing [email protected]. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. There will be open seating for both performances.

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