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Apr 11 2013

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

Old Westbury, N.Y. (April 11, 2013)–New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) hosted its second competition for high school students to showcase and exhibit their ongoing projects based on science and/or engineering principles. Eight co-ed or all-female teams vied in this competition for the second year in a row, hailing from Commack High School, John F. Kennedy High School Plainview-Old Bethpage, Massapequa High School, and the Girl Scouts of Nassau County. 

The competition is offered through a partnership between NYIT 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 cash awards and certificates; the top team, from Commack High School, designed “The EyeHand,” a prototype glove for measuring distance for the visually impaired. Second place was awarded to a John F. Kennedy High School Plainview-Old Bethpage team. The project, “An Assessment of the Adhesion Receptor Dystoglycan as a Regulator of Oligodendroctye Progenitor Cell Differentiation,” relates to cells that produce the fatty outer covering of nerve cells that when damaged can lead to diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Commack High School also was awarded third place, for its Facial Recognition Quadcopter Prototype project.

“We are happy to provide young students with an opportunity to showcase their ongoing science, technology and engineering projects and promote discovery and K-12 education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, as we help to build the pipeline for a new generation of researchers,” said Nada Marie Anid, Dean, Ph.D., Dean of NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences

Ken White, Manager, Office of Educational Programs, Brookhaven National Laboratory and a competition judge said, “As a co-steward of the Long Island STEM Hub, our goal is to bring business and academia together to create awareness among Long Island students about the relevance of their academics to careers on Long Island. Events such as the ConnectToTech NYIT High School Showcase provide a forum for industry leaders to recognize student achievements and to encourage participants to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology.”

Andrew Parton, Executive Director of the Cradle of Aviation Museum and another judge said, “This event is just another indication of the wealth of talented students here on Long Island. The ConnectToTech event highlighted the great work being done by students and teachers. I want to thank NYIT for taking a leading role in promoting STEM education.”

For their projects, teams were required to demonstrate an understanding of the underlying science and technology concepts. Projects were evaluated on their originality, potential for practical application(s), and the significance of the problem they seek to address. Each team was required to include at least one female student.

NYIT also presented awards for: 

  • Sportsmanship: Robot Design for FIRST Robotics Championship (Girl Scouts/“Icebreakers”)
  • Creativity: Microsoft Kinect Wifi Controlled Helicopter (Commack)
  • Engineering: FIRST Tech Challenge Robot Programmed Using Robot C (Massapequa)
  • Science: New Approach to Production of Silver Nanoplates (Plainview-Old Bethpage)
  • Innovation: Novel Cellulose Nanowhisker Application as Emulsifying Agents ( Plainview-Old Bethpage)

Also serving as judges in the competition, which was sponsored by New York Community Bank Foundation, were Judith Murrah, Senior Director of IT for Motorola and a ConnectToTech representative; and Kathy Wagner, a retired Verizon executive. Associate Dean and Assistant Professor Babak Behesti and Associate Professor Fang Li, Mechanical Engineering department, served as NYIT faculty judges; student judges included Hurneet Singh (Computer Science), Colin Vinson (Engineering Management), and Matthew Wighton (Mechanical Engineering).

The team winning the “Innovation Award” from John F. Kennedy High School Plainview-Old Bethpage noted they enjoyed the competition experience for the encouragement it provided for their future work, the insights offered into the research field, and the judges’ recognition of the work they were contributing as students.

“As teachers, we are grateful for all opportunities when our students can share what they've done with willing listeners and are acknowledged,” concluded Mary Lou O'Donnell, Research Coordinator at John F. Kennedy High School Plainview-Old Bethpage, which entered three all-female teams in this competition. 

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 14,000 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, 92,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit


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