Manan and Brandon Named 2019 Regeneron Scholars!

On 9 January, Wheatley Seniors Manan Shukla and Brandon Zhu were named scholars in the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search!

In 2017, Regeneron became only the third sponsor (after Westinghouse and Intel) of the Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. As part of its 10-year, $100 million commitment, Regeneron nearly doubled the overall award distribution to $3.1 million annually to better reward the best and brightest young minds. Founded and led by two Science Talent Search alumni, Regeneron recognizes and prioritizes the need to inspire more young people to engage in science.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,964 applications, which were received from 601 high schools in 48 states, two U.S. territories and eligible students living in seven other countries. The scholars were selected based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists. This year, research projects cover topics from bioengineering to environmental science to physics.

Manan’s project, “Creating Affordable and Objective Healthcare Solutions Using IoT and Cloud Technology,” was created in response to a problem he identified in the current health care system: physicians cannot treat their patients effectively because they lack accurate patient information to make proper decisions. This manifests itself in particular with patients who do not accurately report their medication intake. As a result, Manan created a smart pill dispenser that uses IoT cloud connectivity to not only quantify patient behaviors and determine medication usage but can also send this information to their physician so that patient treatment is based on objective data rather than inaccurate reporting. Manan’s project was highlighted earlier this year in this blog. You can read about it through this link.

Brandon’s project, “Efficient Zero-Knowledge Using Garbled Circuits Under the Plain Model,” was designed in response to the reality that our online security is constantly at risk of data breaches. To tackle this, Brandon created a secure encryption protocol based on cutting-edge techniques, such as commitment schemes and zero knowledge, that maintains security regardless of an attacker’s computational power. This enhanced protocol preserves full security without detrimental assumptions such as non-malleability and has even been tested to run more efficiently than less-perfect protocols.

On January 23, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists.

You can read Newsday’s coverage of Long Island’s scholars through this link: Regeneron Scholars Newsday 9Jan19

You can view all of the 300 Regeneron Scholars here: STS 2019 Scholar Book

Congratulations Manan and Brandon!

 

Congratulations to Grant Peterson, our Geography Bee Winner!

On Friday afternoon, sixteen of our 8th Grade students competed in the final school round of the National Geography Bee in order to determine who would represent Wheatley in the next round of the competition.

The event was the first round in the annual National Geographic GeoBee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward middle-level students’ curiosity about the world.  Questions cover not only geography, but also cultures, physical features, history, and earth science.   The contestants answered increasingly difficult questions about five themes of geography in seven rounds that included favorites such as “Weird… But True!” and “Odd One Out” before several students advanced to the final rounds.

After in-class preliminary rounds (held in Social Studies 8 classes), the following sixteen students qualified for the Wheatley Final Round:

  • Amir Agarwal (GT)
  • Rachel Aquino-Okeke
  • Skye Blau
  • Grant Callahan
  • William Caroddo
  • Daniel Dayter
  • Michael Emouna
  • Neha George
  • Tobey Hirsch
  • Sonia Patel
  • Grant Peterson
  • Andrew Pinto
  • Tyler Richman
  • Zachary Samuel
  • Lauren Tavolacci
  • James Tercynski

Congratulations to Grant Peterson, this year’s Geography Bee champion! Grant outlasted Daniel Dayter and Sonia Patel in a nerve-wracking final round. Grant will now have the opportunity to take a qualifying test for the State GeoBee, which will be held in Albany this coming March.

Thank you to Dr. Scott Eckers, our Social Studies Chair, for hosting the final round. Thank you as well to all of the 8th Grade teachers (Mr. Michael Haig, Ms. Courtney Clarake and Mrs. Gina Topping) for supporting this competition in their classrooms.

ICU Assembly and Luncheon Celebrates the Diversity that Unites Us

One of Wheatley’s wonderful traditions takes place on the final day of school before the December Recess. Sponsored by our Intercultural Unity Club (ICU), this combination talent showcase, fashion show and luncheon has been described by many as “the best day of the year.” The day provides the opportunity to showcase many of the talents of our incredible student body.

Through music and dance performances, students use the ICU Assembly to celebrate the diverse cultures within our community as a way of bringing us closer together.  After the assembly, students eat food (prepared by our community families) from across many cultures. Leftover food is brought to the INN at the end of the day.

This day has become one of Wheatley’s wonderful traditions. Many thanks to our ICU Advisor, Steven Fitzko, for his work with the students in bringing this day to our community!

Thanks to our friends at Island Photo for sharing some of the following photos from the day!

Wheatley’s Winter Concert (Part 2) Wraps Up the Season in Delight!

Earlier this evening, our Winter Concert (Part 2) featured delightful performances from the following performance groups: Stage Band (directed by Peggy Ho), Jazz Band (directed by Steve Fitzko), Intermediate Chorus (directed by Angela Luftig and accompanied by Rick Wilson), Intermediate/Concert Band (directed by Peggy Ho and Stan Orlovsky) and Symphonic Band (directed by Peggy Ho).

We are grateful for the dedication of our music teachers, Angela Luftig, Peggy Ho and Stan Orlovsky — as well as our “adjunct” music teachers, Rick Wilson and Steve Fitzko! Special recognition must go to Dr. Ho, who conducted tonight’s performances just a few weeks after breaking her kneecap!