Huntington High School’s science whiz kids turned in a set of strong performances at the Science Olympiad Long Island regionals at Ward Melville.
Two teams of Huntington science aces vied in the competition with one of the squads finishing 11th in a very challenging field. The top six teams earned berths in the state championships.
Huntington team members captured nine medals in the intellectually grueling competition, a testament to the high-powered teenagers who comprise the Blue Devil program.
Huntington High School science teachers Lori Kenny, Dame Forbes, Amelia Saggese and Matthew Liguori coached the students.
The team consisting of Valerie Rogel, Michael McCooey, Bryce Vitulli, Robert Jean-Gilles, Matt Gennarelli, Hannah Avidor, Hadley Clayton, Ryan Hoffmann, Mathew Hearl, Nathan Gamboa, Haley Mortell, Arashdeep Singh, Ryan Knowles, Patrick Langton and Andrew Knowles finished 11th overall in the competition, a very strong showing.
The other team’s roster includes Mya Davis, Peyton Kalb, Lia Shechter, Oskar Kilgour, John Panos, Diya Rai-Gersappe, Sasha Koulakova, Samuel Roberts, Charles Sze, Katie Stock, Erika Varady, Jack Langton, Adriana Scarpati, Gabriel Medina-Jaudes and Gabriel Moskovitch garnered individual success.
Sofia Marchetta, Kemberlin Hernandez-Veliz, Evelyn Hernandez and Erik Flores Reyes were Huntington’s alternates.
Huntington grabbed medals in nine difference events/divisions, including:
- Chemistry Lab: Ryan Hoffmann and Mathew Hearl – 4 th place
- Designer Genes: Valerie Rogel and Ryan Knowles – 4 th place
- Fermi Questions: Matt Gennarelli and Andrew Knowles – 5 th place
- Herpetology: Robert Jean-Gilles and Michael McCooey – 8 th place
- Mission Possible: Team A - Bryce Vitulli and Matt Gennarelli – 6 th place
- Mission Possible: Team B - Peyton Kalb and Sam Roberts – 10 th place
- Sound of Music: Andrew Knowles and Haley Mortell – 4 th place
- Write it-Do it: Team A - 9th Valerie Rogel and Hadley Clayton – 9 th place
- Write it-Do it: Team B - Diya Rai-Giuseppe and Erika Varady – 5 th place
“Since attending the event last year, I looked forward to this year to see the newfound accomplishments that could be earned by the team,” Mr. Hearl said. “It was particularly exciting to win a medal in the chemistry lab event, one I had hoped to do well in. I’ll now be anticipating great things from the team in years to come.”
Huntington’s faculty coaches are very confident that the returning team members are destined for even greater success next year. “I loved being able to participate in the Science Olympiad,” Ms. Rai-Gersappe said. “All the events were really interesting and exciting. My highlight was definitely winning a fifth place medal in the Write it-Do it event.”
Huntington’s Science Olympiad program was rejuvenated last year and quickly made a splash in the 2018 competition. This year’s two teams are even stronger that last year’s outstanding lineup.
“This was my first year participating in Science Olympiad and I found it to be a rewarding experience,” Ms. Rogel said. “I relished the opportunity to challenge myself among people with similar interests who are equally enthusiastic about science as I am.”
“I had a great time this year at Ward Melville,” Mr. Jean-Gilles said. “The two teams that we had competing were quite excited to participate. Everyone from teachers to students had a blast.”
“Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets,” according to the organization’s website. “Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation. Through Science Olympiad, students, teachers, parents, principals and business leaders bond together and work toward a shared goal.”
“It was a great experience,” Mr. Kilgour said. “I was so happy to be with all my friends at the competition, especially on my birthday.”
Huntington took home five medals at last year’s competition and placed 16th overall in a field of 45 high school teams. So last weekend’s results were a marked improvement.
“I am satisfied with our success as a team,” Ms. Clayton said. “Mrs. Kenny, Mrs., Forbes and all the other teachers who helped out were greatly appreciated and offered a lot of assistance. We came very close to qualifying for the states and I hope future teams are able to break the barrier and go even further.”