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Cultural Exchange Program Comes Full Circle

Cultural Exchange Program Comes Full Circle photo

Amityville Memorial High School students are making friends all over Suffolk County. Through the school’s popular Cultural Exchange program, they welcomed peers from Bayport-Blue Point and East Islip high schools earlier in the year. In February, it was their turn to be the visitors.

Recently, students from Amityville’s Warrior Awareness Club, known as the WAC PAC, spent the day in East Islip. Students were welcomed with a big breakfast and took part in icebreaker activities. Each Amityville student paired up an East Islip student and followed the schedule of his or her host. East Islip staff members made T-shirts for all participants.

“I had a lot of fun spending the day my partner,” said Amityville sophomore Allany McCatty. “I enjoyed participating in her classes and I look forward to keeping in touch with her.”

Added senior Noah Odige, “It’s always interesting to see how other schools function throughout the day and I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to get a glimpse into the life of an East Islip student.”

This was the first visit by Amityville to the home of the Redmen and they loved it, according to WAC PAC adviser Jason McGowan. Amityville hosted the East Islip students back in January for the inaugural visit. 

The WAC PAC also sent 30 students to Bayport-Blue Point High School for their visit to the home of the Phantoms. Amityville students and staff were greeted by the orchestra as they walked into the cafeteria. 

Bayport-Blue Point School District administrators led icebreaker activities in a conference room and students, who initially met in Amityville in November, were reintroduced to each other over breakfast.

In a true double exchange, Amityville senior Letizia Cazzaniga, an exchange student from Milan, Italy, was a part of the program and she connected with her partner, Emily. Sophomore Abel Tejada was paired up with Mr. McGowan's son, Trey, and won a badminton tournament together in physical education class.

“I loved spending the day in their high school,” junior Bryan Canales said. “All of the students were friendly toward us." 

After gathering together for a pizza lunch, the Amityville and Bayport-Blue Point students parted ways but not before exchanging phone numbers and social media information.

“Teenagers are teenagers, and that’s the point I am trying to make with this program,” Mr. McGowan said. “Even though we are a few zip codes away, connections can be made regardless of your background. It was beautiful to see the laughter and the hugs as we left each school. The major goal of this program is for students to learn about diversity by experiencing dissimilar school populations. Rather than discussing diversity in a typical classroom lesson, participants have the opportunity to experience it first-hand.”

Amityville Artists Earn All-County Nods

Amityville Artists Earn All-County Nods photo
Amityville Artists Earn All-County Nods photo 2
Four students from Amityville had their work selected for the Suffolk County Art Leaders Association’s annual All-County exhibit. Their art was recently displayed at Old Town Hall in Babylon.

The featured student artists included Edmund W. Miles Middle School ninth-grader Ulric Farrier (block printing) and Amityville Memorial High School juniors Brianna Desire (photography) and Astrid Dixon (drawing/mixed media). Additionally, senior Maiya Bryant displayed her artwork within the senior scholarship portion of the SCALA All-County exhibition. 

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

Students Present Drone Study at LISEF Fair

Students Present Drone Study at LISEF Fair photo
Amityville Memorial High School students Darius Mobley Jr. and Z’Dhanne Williams recently presented their research project at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair held at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Their topic was, “Are autonomous drones more efficient than human programmed drones in rescue missions?”

After conducting extensive research on present-day drone usage, Darius and Z’Dhanne conducted their own study comparing flight times of autonomous drones with the flight times of drones driven by human operators. With help from fellow robotics club members Raiphy Jerez and Trae’von Smith, they concluded that while the autonomous drones had a faster flight time by 15 seconds on average compared to human programmed drones, they lacked responsiveness and were more likely to have disrupted flight due to lapse time in communication with the computer server. The students set up an obstacle course in the cafeteria to conduct their study.

High School Musicians Shine at Day of Horn

High School Musicians Shine at Day of Horn photo
Three French horn players from Amityville Memorial High School represented the district at the annual Day of Horn festival, hosted by the Suffolk County Music Educators Association.

Participating students included seniors James Carey and Michael Gordon, and sophomore Tristan Angus. Hundreds of French Horn players from across Suffolk County schools participated in this festival at Northport High School, which included workshops, rehearsals and a performance by all musicians in a Massed Horn Ensemble concert.    

“Congratulations to James, Michael and Tristan for setting this additional musical goal for themselves,” said Director of Fine Arts Dr. Fran Fernandez. “Also, special thanks goes out to their families and their present and past music teachers for their guidance and support.”

High School Researchers Spread Knowledge

High School Researchers Spread Knowledge photo
High School Researchers Spread Knowledge photo 2
High School Researchers Spread Knowledge photo 3
High School Researchers Spread Knowledge photo 4
After months of intense research, 35 students in the Advanced Placement Seminar course at Amityville Memorial High School presented their findings during a symposium in the auditorium on Jan. 31.

The first half of the year in the 10th-grade course was devoted to team research projects. Teacher Allison Reichel assigned each group a broad topic, and students then had to select a focus. Among the areas that students explored were video game violence, immigration policies and the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes. 

Ms. Reichel said that every team member was charged with looking at the problem “through a different lens.” Students then worked together to analyze their collective research, propose potential solutions and create a multimedia presentation.  

Noah Laforest and his teammates looked into the negative influences of social media. He said he learned that the research process is very intense and requires hard work and commitment.

“I liked how well my team and I worked together, and it make me enjoy working with others more,” he said. “It helped me see other people’s opinions and perspectives.”

The second half of AP Seminar will be devoted to individual research projects. The course is the first half of AP Capstone, a college readiness program now in its third year at Amityville Memorial High School, with AP Research offered for juniors. In that class, students will work on individual projects by selecting a topic, identifying gaps in existing research, compiling data and making their own contributions to a particular field. 

Students who earn scores of three or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research and four additional Advanced Placement exams can earn an AP Capstone diploma. 
Tuesday, March 19, 2019