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Apr 30 2014

NYIT Hosts Third Engineering and Technology Showcase Competition for High School Students


Old Westbury, N.Y. (April 30, 2014) –Now in its third year, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) attracted more student teams to its annual competition for high school students to showcase and exhibit their ongoing projects based on science and/or engineering principles than in the competition’s first two years combined. Yesterday, 20 co-ed or all-female teams vied in this competition, hailing from Brentwood High School, Commack High School, John F. Kennedy High School Plainview-Old Bethpage, and Manhasset High School.  

The competition is offered through a partnership between NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences and ConnectToTech, a volunteer organization whose mission is to inspire and support students to connect to technology educational and career opportunities through community, academic, and other partnerships. 

Students competed for awards and certificates; the top team, from Commack High School, consisting of students Anthony Bisculo and Kayla Housmand, won for its project, Low-Cost System to Detect the Occurrence of Solar Flares. A team from Commack High School has placed first in each of the three years that this competition has been held. A team comprised of Nicolette Almer and Kirina Ziadkhanpour from John F. Kennedy High School Plainview-Old Bethpage was awarded second place, as well as the distinction of Excellence in Research for its project, The Effect of TiO2 Nanoparticle Exposure on Adipose Derived Stem Cells. Third place, for the project, The Evaluation of Novel Conductive Gels for Studies on Biological Redox Reactions, also was awarded to John F. Kennedy High School Plainview-Old Bethpage, and its team member Reva Butensky.   

“We are thrilled with the growth of this program and relish the opportunity to provide bright, ambitious high school students with a forum to showcase their ongoing science, technology, and engineering projects, while at the same time helping to build the pipeline for a new generation of researchers and professionals in the STEM fields,” said Nada Marie Anid, Ph.D., Dean of NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences. 
The competition is open to high school students to showcase their ongoing science and technology projects. Teams must demonstrate understanding of the underlying science and technology concepts for their projects, which are evaluated based on originality, potential for practical application(s), and the significance of the problem they seek to address. Each team must include at least one female student.

“Our students reap many benefits from participating in competitions like this, but being an active part of the science community on Long Island is by far the most valuable,” said Gary Repetto, department head; Science, Brentwood High School, which entered 9 teams in the showcase.

Judith Murrah, ConnectToTech president said, “I want to thank NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences for its partnership with the ConnectToTech program. I am so happy that together, we can influence so many students and teachers.”

Manhasset High School entered five teams in the competition; Commack entered four, and John F. Kennedy High School Plainview-Old Bethpage entered two teams.

"Plainview-Old Bethpage has participated in ConnectToTech since its inception. Each year we return because the day provides our students with such a positive experience as they share their work with truly interested judges and faculty.  The cooperative exchange of ideas and opportunity to view the work of other young women is especially rewarding," noted Mary Lou O'Donnell, Research Coordinator at John F. Kennedy High School Plainview-Old Bethpage.

New York Community Bank Foundation and ConnectToTech were sponsors of the high school showcase. Judges in the competition included: Dr. Marian Conway, Executive Director and Cindy Krezel, Program Officer, New York Community Bank Foundation; ConnectToTech representatives were Judith Murrah, Rhonda Green, and Jesse Hayward. NYIT faculty judges included Fang Li, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Electrical and Chemical Engineering; James Scire, Ph.D.,  Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering; and Saviero Marsicano, Senior Technician, Telecomm and Electrical Engineering Technology. Student judges were Will Udoh, president, National Society of Black Engineers, NYIT-Old Westbury; Michelle Messenger, president, Society of Women Engineers, NYIT-Old Westbury, and Pranav Srinivas Krishnamurthy.   

The following prizes were also awarded:

  • Sustainability Award: Using Lemna Minor to Make Biodegradable Plastic, Brentwood High School
  • Dynamic Presentation Award: The use of Benthic Barrier for the Eradication of Variable Leaf Milfoil, Brentwood High School
  • Excellence in Physics: Determining the Superconductivity State of a Manufactured YBCO for Potential Energy Use, Brentwood High School
  • Greenest Project: Analyzing the Distance of Herbicide Encapsulated in a Calcium Alginate Bead, Brentwood High School
  • Promising Women in STEM Award: A Novel System Created to Assess the Formation of Marine Snow, Brentwood High School
  • Excellence in Chemistry: Analyzing the Efficacy of Algal Biofuel, Brentwood High School
  • Creativity Award: Dream Home 1, Brentwood High School
  • Design Award: Dream Home 2, Brentwood High School
  • Community Improvement Award: Dream Home 3, Brentwood High School
  • Excellence in Engineering: "The Active Mailbox" for People with Disabilities, Commack High School
  • Honorable Mention: Food Decontamination Chamber, Commack High School
  • Entrepreneurship Award: Automatic Plant Watering Device, Commack High School
  • STEAM Integration: Determination of the Most Effective Layering for Multilayer Quantum Dot Solar Cells, Manhasset High School
  • Excellence in Medical Science; Honorable Mention: The Effect of Metformin, Rosiglitazone, and Glyburide on the Lifespan, Locomotion, and Lipofuscin Accumulation of C. Elegans, Manhasset High School
  • Innovation Award: The Effects of Adenosine on the Memory of Sleep-Deprived Drosophila Melanogaster, Manhasset High School
  • Excellence in Biology: A Novel Analysis: The Effects if A-lipoic Acid, EGCG, and Ibuprofin on Amyloid-Beta and Tau in Neurodegenerative Teansgenic C. Elegans Models, Manhasset High School 
  • Energy Pioneer Award: A Model Approach to Harvesting Energy from a Marine Environment: The Engineering of Sediment Microbial Fuel Cells with a Modified Catalist and Diffusion Layer, Manhasset High School

About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 13,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.

Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 95,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit


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