HSW Pic 1100 Central Road, Smithtown, NY 11787

 


Main Office: (631) 382-2905
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Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC)
(631) 382-2905
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(631) 382-2940
Assistant Principal - Mrs. Freund:
Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC)
(631) 382-2970
School Psychologist - Danielle DeMola:
Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC)
School Social Worker - Taylor Langella:
Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC)

 

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Video: HSE/HSW’s Jacqueline Harden

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Our next Day in the Life video series features school psychologist Jacqueline Harden from High School East and West.

HS West Team Awarded Invention Grant

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High School West was one of just 13 high schools nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam this year. As an award winner, High School West will receive a grant for $10,000 by Lemelson-MIT Program to create their invention, a personal space monitor to help autistic children improve their social interactions.

InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers and mentors that receive grants to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. This initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Program aims to inspire a new generation of inventors. “The InvenTeams program represents the future,” said Leigh Estabrooks, invention education officer from the Lemelson-MIT Program. “We place an emphasis on STEM-focused projects to develop interest in these fields among youth. With InvenTeams, our primary goal is to foster high school students’ passion for invention, in turn inspiring them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering or math.”

Led by High School West science research teacher Dr. Joanne Figueiredo, the application process began last spring. She worked with her team of students – Sinead Doyle, Jensen Herbst, Liza Lleshaj, Rehan Mian, Tyler Nagosky, Patrick Noto, Eric Pentecoste, Madeline Raeihle and Aaquib Syed ¬– during the summer to prepare the final proposal. A panel of judges composed of educators, researchers, staff and alumni from MIT, as well as representatives from industry and former Lemelson-MIT Award winners, assembled virtually this fall and selected this year’s InvenTeam grantees.

Autism Spectrum Disorder affects approximately one in every 59 children in the United States. “These children sometimes exhibit difficulties understanding the idea of interpersonal space,” said Dr. Figueiredo. “Our invention, the Personal Distance Monitor (PDM), is a cost-effective solution to this problem. It uses an IR sensor to alert the user when they are getting too close to another person. It also reports to an app that can help a teacher or parent to monitor progress.”

The High School West InvenTeam will also work with Glen Meyerowitz, a graduate student at UCLA and former engineer at SpaceX, who will guide the students through the development of their invention.

“This is a remarkable group of students who have come together to solve an important problem faced by their peers in our school and other students across the country; we are eager to support them,” said High School West Principal John Coady.

During the next nine months, the High School West InvenTeam will develop its PDM. The team will build a working prototype of their invention that is showcased at a technical review within the local community in February, and then again as a final prototype at EurekaFest, an invention celebration in June 2021.

West Senior Is Passionate About her Cause

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Smithtown High School West senior Shannon Alptekin is the founder and executive director of International Innovative Solutions Project. She’s currently working to raise $200,000 to install a solar grid in Turkana County, Kenya, to provide drinking water for the villagers.
Admittedly, as a high school senior, she doesn’t have much time or money. But there’s one thing she definitely has: passion. Smithtown High School West senior Shannon Alptekin took that passion and created her own nonprofit organization to help those in need.

Alptekin is the founder and executive director of International Innovative Solutions Project. I2SP’s mission is to utilize innovative technology to provide humanitarian aid to underprivileged communities that lack access to the resources required to provide essential health and human services. “I am passionate about healthcare, and I aspire to become a surgeon,” Alptekin said. “So I took a look at the global water crisis, especially what is happening with the pandemic, and knew it was a mission that deeply impassioned me.”

Alptekin did some research and learned about the impoverished villagers of Turkana County, Kenya. I2SP’s pilot project is to alleviate water scarcity through the deployment of a self-sustaining solar microgrid that will power an atmospheric water generator. The technology extracts water vapor from the ambient atmosphere and condenses it into clean drinking water. The microgrid will be installed on the grounds of the Turkana Basin Institute Turkwel Research Facility in Turkana County as part of their hub for innovation.

Turkana Basin Institute is one of the partners that will execute the project locally. SOSAED, an organization led by former director of Brookhaven National Laboratory Dr. Samuel Aronson, is another partner based in Turkana that will assist with the project.

The organization’s fundraising goal for the project is $200,000. Donations are being accepted through GoFundMe and the website, www.i2sp.org. “By improving the villagers’ access to a safe source of drinking water, this project will be absolutely transformative,” Alptekin said. “In fact, this project could be replicated in different penurious communities around the globe, making a profound impact in the mitigation of the global water crisis.”

While helping to aid in the village’s drinking water, the project will have even more benefits to the community. It would improve healthcare, education, economics and productivity. Alptekin began this project at the end of 2019 and is focused on spreading the word about the organization’s mission. “I am still in the early stages of fundraising,” she said. “And I realize $200,000 seems like a lot of money. But if we can just get the word out, every dollar will help make a difference in meeting our goal.”

West Senior Is Passionate About her Cause

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Admittedly, as a high school senior, she doesn’t have much time or money. But there’s one thing she definitely has: passion. Smithtown High School West senior Shannon Alptekin took that passion and created her own nonprofit organization to help those in need.

Shannon is the founder and executive director of International Innovative Solutions Project. I2SP’s mission is to utilize innovative technology to provide humanitarian aid to underprivileged communities that lack access to the resources required to provide essential health and human services. “I am passionate about healthcare, and I aspire to become a surgeon,” Shannon said. “So I took a look at the global water crisis, especially what is happening with the pandemic, and knew it was a mission that deeply impassioned me.”

Shannon did some research and learned about the impoverished villagers of Turkana County, Kenya. I2SP’s pilot project is to alleviate water scarcity through the deployment of a self-sustaining solar microgrid that will power an atmospheric water generator. The technology extracts water vapor from the ambient atmosphere and condenses it into clean drinking water. The microgrid will be installed on the grounds of the Turkana Basin Institute Turkwel Research Facility in Turkana County as part of their hub for innovation.

Turkana Basin Institute is one of the partners that will execute the project locally. SOSAED, an organization led by former director of Brookhaven National Laboratory Dr. Samuel Aronson, is another partner based in Turkana that will assist with the project.

The organization’s fundraising goal for the project is $200,000. Donations are being accepted through GoFundMe and the website, www.i2sp.org. “By improving the villagers’ access to a safe source of drinking water, this project will be absolutely transformative,” Shannon said. “In fact, this project could be replicated in different penurious communities around the globe, making a profound impact in the mitigation of the global water crisis.”

While helping to aid in the village’s drinking water, the project will have even more benefits to the community. It would improve healthcare, education, economics and productivity. Shannon began this project at the end of 2019 and is focused on spreading the word about the organization’s mission. “I am still in the early stages of fundraising,” she said. “And I realize $200,000 seems like a lot of money. But if we can just get the word out, every dollar will help make a difference in meeting our goal.”

HSW Theatre Students Get Creative

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Using their outdoor space to practice social distancing while also learning and honing their theatrical skills, students in Ms. Corbo’s theater arts class at High School West took to the softball field to practice their improv skills. Students worked on a few different techniques, acting out different family portraits using just their body language. They also did a slideshow exercise, where one student narrated a story and the others acted it out in different slides.

Four Student-Musicians Selected for NYSSMA

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Four students from the district have been selected to participate in New York State School Music Association’s All-State Music Festival. From High School East, Gabriela Foster has been chosen to play the violin in the symphony orchestra, while Christopher Konopka, a tenor, will be part of the mixed chorus. From High School West, Dominic Gibbons, a tenor, will be part of the mixed chorus, while Liam Reynolds was chosen to play jazz guitar in instrumental jazz. Although they won’t get to experience the regular, live All-State Music Festival in Rochester, New York, NYSSMA has put together a virtual summit for students and educators to participate in at the beginning of December.

Piecing Together Potato Head Art

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During their studio in art class, High School West students got creative as they drew the classic and iconic Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head toys. Students used their imagination to design their own Potato Head look. After positioning their toys, the student-artists were tasked with creating an observational contour line drawing of their character. When their drawings and compositions were complete, students used colored pencils or watercolor paint to complete their artwork.

West Senior Named Rising Scientist Award Winner

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High School West senior Julia Savino has been named a 2020 Rising Scientist by the Child Mind Institute. She is one of only five students in the New York metropolitan area to receive this prestigious scholarship award. The Rising Scientist award recognizes her exceptional promise as a future scientist in the field of neuroscience and adolescent and child mental health.

According to High School West research coordinator Dr. Joanne Figueiredo, Savino’s work in the science research program at Smithtown High School West during the last three years is a key reason for this recognition. “During her years in high school, she has focused on understanding the mechanism by which NMDA receptor activation causes a cascade of events that result in excitotoxicity,” Dr. Figueiredo said. “In order to study this question, she has used the model organism Nematostella vectensis. Her recent work has developed into an analysis of the evolution of calmodulin and its kinase. She hopes that by elucidating the steps in this mechanism, she will aid in the development of strategies that mitigate the excitotoxicity that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

The Rising Scientist Awards, presented in partnership with Hunter College, are given annually to outstanding high school students who show exceptional promise in research areas related to mental health. Awards were presented at their annual scientific symposium on Oct. 6.

Analyzing Art to Create Arguments

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Eleventh grade students at High School West in Ms. Thompson’s have been spending time analyzing paintings during their English class. The class has been learning about the American Dream, part of the SpringBoard curriculum. Students created written parody arguments through the analyzation of American Gothic artwork.

The students are learning about creating arguments by studying art and literature simultaneously. American Gothic is one of the most parodied paintings in existence. Working together, students are analyzing facial expressions, colors, action vs. inaction, symbols, foreground and background, sizing and positioning to compose their arguments.

More Than 400 Smithtown Students Receive AP Recognition

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The College Board has recognized 463 current seniors and 2020 graduated students from both High School East and High School West as Advanced Placement Scholars.
These awards, which are divided among several categories, were bestowed upon the students based on their exceptional achievement on the national exams. Some of the highlights include:
• 213 students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by receiving a score of 3 or higher on three or more exams.
• 77 students received the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average grade of 3.25 on all AP exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of those exams.
• 145 students qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and grades of 4 or higher on five or more of these exams.
• 28 students received the highest designation of National AP Scholar by earning an average grade of 4 or higher on all AP exams taken and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.
AP courses completed with a score of 3 or higher on the final exam afford students the opportunity to earn college credit.