Schools: Dinosaurs, One-Word Challenge and Regeneron Scholar

Northport-East Northport third graders will be be studying a new science unit curriculum this spring.

“What Happened to the Dinosaurs?” is a life science unit about  interdependent relationships in ecosystems.

The district’s elementary science curriculum writing team has been working on developing the unit lesson plan and emphasized that it is rooted in storytelling. Katie Moy, one of the first teachers to pilot the program at Ocean Avenue, said that storytelling means “every lesson comes back to our central theme,” which ultimately helps students understand the “why” behind their problem solving.

Students in the Technology and Engineering Department at the high school created a life size 3D dinosaur to launch the program.

Harborfields school district photo

All About Words

Fifth graders at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School kicked off the New Year with the “One Word Challenge.”

The program, created by authors Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page, was created in 1999 as a New Year’s resolution replacement. Instead, the authors of “One Word That Will Change Your Life,” found it to be more successful to choose just one word to live by and aspire to. Inspired to do the same, the two classes read the book "One Word for Kids," and each student chose one word to serve as a guiding vision for 2021. To help students select their one word, the teachers conducted several lessons on how to pick one word, live
one word and love one word, before selecting a word themselves.

Each student then designed and painted a canvas and shared their aspirations, as well as desk stickers, with their classmates to help each other “live” their one words.

Regeneron Scholar in Elwood

Elwood-John H. Glenn High School senior Rithika Narayan was selected as a  2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar, with her project titled “Machine Learning on Crowd-Sourced Data to Highlight Coral Disease.” Rithika is one of 300 high school seniors who were selected as scholars from 1,760 applicants.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search provides students with an opportunity to present their research on a national stage while celebrating the hard work of young scientists.

Rithika researched how machine learning, which focuses on the development of computer programs and artificial intelligence, can be used to address environmental concerns. In this case she modified the Facebook algorithm, Mask R-CNN, to detect thepresence of different coral diseases.

Her dedication to the project, which she began researching in summer 2019, has since earned her several noteworthy accolades. She recently won first place in Environmental Science in the 2020 Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, was named a 2020 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair finalist as well as a national delegate to the Junior Science Humanities Symposia Program. Her project has also been
recognized by the Journal of Emerging Investigators.

Rithika hopes that her research, which she is currently expanding upon to recognize other infectious diseases, can lead to industry advancements with the help of institutions like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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