Earlier today, the entire Wheatley community took a break from classes to engage in a Student Senate Forum. An outgrowth of discussions I had with some of our students after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the Student Senate Forum was designed to give students an opportunity to discuss controversial topics in a civil manner respectful of each other and each other’s views.
The planning for this day began with the selection of topics to consider in a forum. The following topics were selected:
- The Second Amendment – Students will discuss the history and importance of the Second Amendment, including current debate regarding its repeal.
- School Safety – Students will discuss current issues regarding school safety, including the use of armed guards, arming teachers and identifying and supporting at risk teens.
- Gun Violence – Students will discuss issues related to gun violence in the US. Do guns cause more harm than good? What are the advantages of gun ownership? Should there be restrictions on the types of guns to be sold?
- Mental Health – Students will discuss mental health issues and their connection to gun violence. Should tighter gun ownership regulations be put in place to identify and help those suffering from mental illnesses?
- Guns in the US and around the World – Students will discuss how gun laws differ among the various states in our country. Comparison will be made with gun laws in other countries. Should there be limits on what the government should do regarding background checks.
- Violence in Media and Modern Culture – Students will discuss the impact of video games, movies, TV shows, and social media on gun violence. Students will be exposed to multiple viewpoints about the effect such media has on people.
- Understanding School Shootings in the U.S. – Students will discuss the history of US school shootings and learn about factors related to them. How have various school shootings impacted the day-to-day life of high school students.
For each of these topics, groups of students worked together to develop a common presentation and discussion guide. As part of this process, students partnered with a faculty member to provide guidance and feedback. As students were working on their presentations, a survey was sent to all students asking each to select one of the aforementioned discussion topics. The number of concurrent sessions of each topic was dependent on student interest. In total, we had 17 different sessions related to these seven topics.
The students and faculty members involved were:
The Second Amendment
- Group 1: Ashley Vincenzo and Jessica Poomkudy, Mr. Wilson
- Group 2: Brenda Zhong and Maggie Caroddo, Dr. Staudt
- Group 1: Rahul Ajmera and Mara Zuckerman, Dr. Klapper
- Group 2: Jacob Ribotsky and Karan Amin, Mr. Cadet
- Group 3: Johnnie Scudero and Brooke Schwartz, Mr. Chisholm
- Group 1: Dean Sheinman and Jason Koty, Ms. Seferian
- Group 2: Tony Deluxe and Peter Cuomo, Mr. Ardito
- Group 3: Ally Kim and Kevin Contreras, Mr. Clarke
- Group 1: Patrick Brady, Ali Bhalloo, Ali Ostad, Mr. Schwalm
- Group 2: Michaela Balboni, Vani Kumar, Ms. Maier
- Group 3: Kimmy Esquilin, Jason Manzano, Ms. Tsabasis and Mrs. Schacter
Guns in US and Around the World
- Group 1: Aamir Muneer and Freddy Lin, Mr. Eckers
Violence in Media and Modern Culture
- Group 1: Brenden Resnick and Camellia Ye, Mrs. Roberts
- Group 2: Alison Amarain and Sana Haroon, Ms. Fatone
- Group 3: Jamie Horowitz and Rikki Gassman, Mr. Dunn
Understanding School Shootings in the U.S.
- Group 1: Amanda Kim and Talia Rosen, Ms. Chanin-Bermudez
- Group 2: Vedant Singh and Megan Kirschner, Mr. Meyers and Mr. Fitzko
It was truly a remarkable morning! I was so proud to see how these students organized themselves and their topics. The discussions were a model of civil discourse. All of the students in our school should be proud of the seriousness with which they conducted themselves this morning. Today was a reminder of the special nature of our school and students!
Special thanks to Allison Chanin-Bermudez, our Student Senate Advisor, for her assistance in organizing the event.
Last night, Wheatley’s 7th Annual Research Symposium was held in our lobby (for the poster sessions) and a Room 450 (for the senior research presentations). The breadth and scope of the topics covered a large range of science research topics.
We are thankful to have such wonderfully motivated students along with the faculty to support their efforts. Particular thanks to our Secondary Chair for Science, Mrs. Alexis Pace, for her work with these students and her coordination of the evening. Thanks as well to Mr. DJ Paulson, a Science Research Teacher, for his assistance with the students and the evening.
Science Research Topics and Presentations
Introduction to Science Research Topics
- Umar Ahmad – The Effects of Antihistamines on the Cell Cycle
- Zain Akhtar – The Effect of Acid Rain on Lichen Growth
- Manav Bansal – Identification of Candidate Therapeutics using a Drosophila Model
- Anya Chabria – A New Look at Writing: Investigating the Presence of Fractal Patterns in the Sentence Structures of Fictional Classic Literature
- Ubaidullah Hassan – The Effect of Acid Rain on Lichen Growth
- Aarushi Jain – The Effects of Various Chemicals on Digestive Tract Bacteria
- Viraj Jayam – Projecting onto the Generalized n-Sphere via Stereographic Projections
- Olivia Palmieri – The Effects of Various Chemicals on Digestive Tract Bacteria
- Iman Pirzada – The Ikea Effect and How it Affects Student Learning
- Avani Rambharose – The Ikea Effect and How it Affects Student Learning
- Avinash Reddy – Cloning: Balancing Science and Ethics
- Samar Saleem – The Effects of Various Chemicals on Digestive Tract Bacteria
- Brian Seo – The Effect of Acid Rain on Lichen Growth
- Neil Shah – Efficiency of Composting Using Eisenia fetida
- Arham Sheraz – The Effects of Antihistimines on the Cell Cycle
- Dean Sheinman – Christopher Morley Park: Invasive vs Native Tree Species
- Aaron Zachariah – Sustainability of Renewable Energy Sources
- Lucy Zha – The Effect of Auto Correct on High School Students’ Classwork
- Sharon Zhong – The Effect of Dairy Products As Compared To Alternative Dairy Products On Plant Development
Independent Science Research Topics
- Sufia Ainechi – The Tipping Point of Buildings; An Analysis of Future Renewable Energy
- *Karan Amin – Meditation’s Correlation with Higher Levels of Dispositional Mindfulness and Resilience and its Application to the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
- Alex ArbitalJacoby – The Effects of Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles Compared to the Effects of 10 Nanometer Store-Bought Silver Nanoparticles on Energy Production of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae Microbial Fuel Cell
- Zachary Azevedo – How Does Turf Affect Bacterial Growth?
- Matthew Cornacchia – Analyzing Peridotites Ability to Sequester Carbon Dioxide as a Potential Solution to Global Warming
- *Antony Deluxe – The Prevalence of Stigma Against Depression Amongst High School Students
- *Lauren Druz – The Effects of Coconut Oil on Alzheimer’s-homologue APL-1 in C. elegans
- *Roxane Ghadami – How can we revise our criminal justice system in order to reduce racial profiling and stereotyping?
- *Sana Haroon – MiR30-c Reduces Apob Secretion in HUH-7 Cells
- *Farah Hasan – The Effects of Coconut Oil on Alzheimer’s-homologue APL-1 in C. elegans
- Hitangee Jain – Pretreatment of Pyrabactin Increases the Tolerance of Brassica rapa to High Salinity Levels
- Ansh Jhaveri – The Effects of Colloidal Silver on the Growth of E. coli
- *Tiffany Jiao – The Construction of False Memories: Factors That Contribute to the Confabulation of Events and Production Errors in Memory Recall
- Brett Katz – The Effect of BAMLET on Reversing the Antibiotic Resistance in Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
- Theodore Koutsoftas – The Effects of Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles Compared to the Effects of 10 Nanometer Store-Bought Nanoparticles on Energy Production of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Microbial Fuel Cell
- *Abhishek Kumar – Performance Analysis of a Parallelized Restricted Boltzman Machine Artificial Neural Network Using OpenACC Framework and TaU Profiling System on the HPC1 High Performance Computer
- Vani Kumar – Simulating the BRAF-D630045J12Ri Fusion in Hek-293t Cells Using the CRISPR/Cas9 Genetic Engineering System
- John Li – Three Efficient Inventions That Work Together to Reduce the Time and Cost of Automobile Transmission Fluid and Filter Changes by 3/4th
- Karen Li – TP53 Mutations as Potential Prognostic Markers for Specific Cancers: Analysis of Data from the Cancer Genome Atlas and the Internation Agency for Research on Cancer TP53 Database
- Victor Li – TP53 Mutations as Potential Prognostic Markers for Specific Cancers: Analysis of Data from the Cancer Genome Atlas and the Internation Agency for Research on Cancer TP53 Database
- Akiva Mohebban – The Effects of Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles Compared to the Effects of 10 Nanometer Store-Bought Nanoparticles on Energy Production of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Microbial Fuel Cell
- Jacob Mohebban – Analyzing Peridotites Ability to Sequester Carbon Dioxide as a Potential Solution to Global Warming
- *Alexandra Ostad – Analyzing Domestic Violence Health Education in Nassau and Suffolk County, New York
- *Alex Pannullo – Exploring the Effect of the Installation of Metal Detectors on Student Perception of their School
- *Mahesh Pitchayan – How Effectively the Musical Elements of the Leitmotifs in Star Wars: A New Hope Change with the Emotional Development of Characters
- Michelle Raja – Reducing Toxicology of Silver Nanoparticles While Maintaining Maximal Antibacterial Properties Through Shape Control
- Aidan Roldan – The Effects of Colloidal Silver on the Growth of E. coli
- *Brooke Schwartz – The Effects of Age, Gender, and Degree of Education on Compassion and Empathy Levels of Parents
- *Manan Shukla – Reprogramming Tumor Associated Macrophages for Optimizing Triple Negative Breast Cancer Therapy
- *Vedant Singh – Evaluating the Effects of Graphhene-Loaded Poly(4-vinylpyridine) Electrospun Fiber Scaffolds and Spun-cast Thin Films on the Proliferation, Morphology, and Differentiation of Dental Pulp Stem Cells in vitro
- Rebecca Sparacio – The Identification and Characterization of the DELLA Protein in Lemna minor
* Denotes AP Research participant
On Friday afternoon, 20 Wheatley students (accompanied by Mrs. Martinez, Mr. Craven and Mrs. Trosko) departed for a week of adventure in Spain! Students will spend the week with families in Madrid, with a variety of cultural and historical excursions planned during the week.
We are fortunate to have faculty members willing to take our students on these worthwhile opportunities.
Wheatley has an incredibly talented student body, involved in so many activities both inside and outside the classroom. Areas in which students have always excelled have been the fine and practical arts. From incredible stage performances to award-winning literary magazines and newspapers, Wheatley students have provided so much entertainment and value to our school and community. To recognize some of the students who have made special contributions in these areas, the faculty advisors invite them to a special dinner—held this year at The INN at New Hyde Park.
In addition to a lovely sit-down dinner, the evening features student performances and a mini art show. The faculty advisors and students are reminded of the critical role they play in helping Wheatley remain a school where there is a place for everyone to shine.
A highlight of this evening is the presentation of the Eve and Jerry Jerome Award, a recognition given to the music student who has demonstrated outstanding skill, character and citizenship at Wheatley. Presented by Mrs. Luftig, this year’s recipient is Justin Vega!
Earlier today, our very own Jo Beth Roberts was recognized as the Nassau County School Librarian of the Year! I was honored to have nominated Jo Beth and was thrilled to be able to present her for this recognition at the final meeting of Nassau School Librarians!
Jo Beth is an extraordinary librarian! Our school, our district and our community are all very fortunate to have her as part of our learning community.
After being introduced, Jo Beth shared some words and even a brief presentation about her pathway to becoming a school librarian!
Jo Beth’s husband, Jamie, accompanied her to the ceremony. Present as well were Jo Beth’s colleagues, Diane Ilkiw (Willets Road) and Karen Homer (North Side). Ed Kemnitzer, our Director of Innovation and Technology (and recipient of last year’s Administrator of the Year Award), was also present.
On Friday, the Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse Team went to Sagamore Gymnastics in Syosset to become Ninja Warriors!
The girls had a terrific time while enjoying quality team bonding.
Girls climbed ropes, ran up 8-10 foot walls, swung from silks, jumped on giant trampolines, worked on balance, tested their limits, showed off some hidden skills and, most importantly, laughed with and encouraged each other every step of the way.
Thanks to Coach Jenna Stein for the terrific photos!
On Friday night, the Wheatley Cafeteria was transformed into a wonderful center of dancing, food and entertainment! Thanks to the work of our Connections/STEPP club and our Life Skills faculty members, students from many schools across Nassau County were able to enjoy a wonderful evening of camaraderie and activity. In addition to a terrific DJ, the evening included a cannoli station, fresh pizza and a photo booth. Students had a wonderful time!
[Thanks to Liza Laurino for some of the photos!]
You can view the photo booth pictures here: