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High School Researchers Share Their Findings

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Amityville Memorial High School sophomores are conducting meaningful research in the Advanced Placement Seminar course where they delve deep into topics of personal interest. On Jan. 31, students presented their group reports in the auditorium, the result of two months of hard work.

Students in Allison Reichel’s and Jodi Wilsher’s classes began the year learning fundamental research skills, such as how to find credible information, consider issues from multiple perspectives, evaluate the strength of arguments and work as a part of a team. Working in groups of three to five, students then picked research topics with each member responsible for a different component. 

Yaneli Amaya, Keiry Martinez, Juan Morales and Kemar Porche selected as their topic, “Wealthy Inequality.” Individually, each one looking at it from a different perspective: political, social and futuristic perspective. They then brought their information together to create a group research report and digital presentation.

“It takes a lot of commitment and everyone doing their part,” Yaneli said about what it takes to successfully complete a research project. 

Other topics included “Public Perception of Cloning,” “The Impact of Music,” “Climate Change,” “Advertising to Children,” “Social Policies of Immigration” and “Educational Technology.” With the conclusion of the group presentations, AP Seminar students will now begin individual research projects.

Students who successfully complete AP Seminar can take AP Research, the second part of the AP Capstone program, which includes a full-year investigation of a self-chosen research question. Each student’s individual research project culminates with a 4,000- to 5,000-word paper and oral defense presentation. 

VIDEO: Work Experience Program

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Amityville Memorial High School students gain hands-on work experience at job placements throughout the community.

Amityville Artists Earn Spots in Regional Exhibitions

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Six student artists from the district were chosen to have their pieces displayed in a pair of prestigious Long Island art shows.

The Suffolk County Art Leaders Association’s All-County Art Exhibition will feature the work of four students from Edmund W. Miles Middle School and Amityville Memorial High School, including ninth grader Hasslyn Hurtado, 10th grader Neyri Ayala, 11th grader Kaya Branscum and 12th grader Ash Dixon. 

Hasslyn’s piece “Christmas Cupcakes” was created with oil pastels. Neyri completed a paper mosaic, “Amanecer,” and Kaya has her mixed media acrylic painting, “Melting Heat,” in the show. Ash entered a variety of untitled drawings, paintings and mixed media work into the senior scholarship portion of the competition. A reception for the artists was held on Feb. 1 at Old Town Hall in Babylon.

Ash and Kaya join seniors Crystal Fells and Katherine Gomez Gutierrez in the Go APE! 13th annual Advanced Placement High School Student Art Exhibition. Kaya and Crystal submitted mixed media using the technique of photo transfer. Ash’s “Shoe” and Katherine’s “Pop Shoe” pieces were made with acrylic paint. 

The show runs from Feb. 15 to March 1 at the Art League of Long Island’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery in Dix Hills, with a reception and awards presentation on the final day.

Students completed their work under the direction of art teachers Jayne Grasso, Nicole Pappas and Nicole Scoca.

Amityville Students Connect With Long Island Peers

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Amityville Memorial High School students and their peers from across Long Island are exploring issues affecting society through the Breaking Borders program. This is the second year Amityville has partnered with high schools in other districts, including Freeport, Levittown, Oyster Bay-East Norwich and Syosset, to spark meaningful and productive conversations about serious topics.

Each school hosts a gathering of students, who bond over a pizza lunch before splitting in smaller groups to talk about the topic of the day. Every group is led by a student facilitator who introduces discussion prompts. When Amityville hosted, the topic was “How does racism affect our society?” Sophomores Alexia Gordon and Carlos Reyes began the program by introducing their guests to Amityville and its diverse student population. 

Amityville social studies teacher Matthew Tomasi explained that the premise of Breaking Borders is to give students a chance to interact with their peers from different backgrounds. He said that when people step out of their comfort zones, it makes the world more inclusive. While the transformation is not overnight, Mr. Tomasi explained that holding these discussions are “the first steps” toward change. 

“They are getting to see how different people live their lives,” he said, “and gain an understanding of how people are both similar and different.”

Amityville Musicians Earns String Festival Selection

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The Long Island String Festival will welcome three Amityville student-musicians to its ensembles in January. Amityville Memorial High School junior Alex Diaz, Edmund W. Miles Middle School eighth grader Madeline Shingleton and Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School fifth grader Joel Biju will represent the district at the festival which will feature talented musicians from schools all over Long Island.

Alex, who plays the viola, will join the Suffolk secondary orchestra for a performance on Jan. 12 at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School. Additionally, Alex was a member of the New York State School Music Association’s All-State Symphonic Orchestra, which performed in early December in Rochester, earning the fourth seat in his section.  

Madeline and Joel, who both play the cello, will perform as members of the Suffolk intermediate orchestra on Jan. 26 at Northport High School. This is Madeline’s third LISFA selection and she will play in the grades 7 and 8 concert while Joel will make his festival debut in the grade 5 concert.

The district’s orchestra teachers are Christine Klimek and Bianca Ferrante.
Sunday, February 23, 2020