East Artist Recognized in Poster Contest

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In recognition of Bullying Prevention Month in November, the Town of Smithtown’s Youth Bureau held an anti-cyberbullying art contest. High School East junior AP student-artist Nethmi Withanage, under the direction of art teacher Timothy Needles, was chosen as the winner. The poster depicted her perception of cyberbullying and its impact. She was recognized at an awards ceremony on Nov. 14 and her poster will be featured in the lobby of the Suffolk County executive’s building in Hauppauge. 

Showing Off STEM Careers in Smithtown

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More than 120 students from High School East and High School West participated in the fifth annual STEM Careers “Lunch and Learn” on Oct. 25 organized by the Smithtown Industry Advisory Board and the Smithtown Central School District Career and Technical Education, science and math departments. The event was hosted at High School West’s library. 

The lunch and learn is designed to introduce high school students to various careers within the STEM field. To open the day’s event, the U.S. Navy presented on nuclear propulsion and engineering. Approximately, 20 different companies and eight different colleges and universities were on hand to show students a variety of careers and the type of schooling necessary for their careers. 

After hearing from the presenters, the students spent time during lunch getting to know the companies and businesses. During the breakout sessions, students sat down in small group settings with the businesses in which they were most interested. Members of the Smithtown robotics team were also on hand to show off their STEM-related skills. 

Schools Come Together to Thank BOE

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To celebrate New York State School Board Recognition Week from Oct. 21-25, the Smithtown Central School District came together to show their appreciation for their board of education during the Oct. 22 meeting.

To kick off the meeting, the High School East select choral group sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Smithtown Elementary School’s ENL also serenaded the board members by singing a thank-you song in 11 different languages. Nesaquake Middle School’s select chorus also showcased their skills by singing “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.”

Dogwood Elementary School’s students created posters featuring the top 10 things they love about the district. Mt. Pleasant Elementary School students created a tree of appreciation to present to the board featuring every student’s fingerprints.

Tackan Elementary School students purchased books at its recent book fair and donated them back to the school’s library in the board’s name. Accompsett Elementary School’s fifth grade classes created a poster board of thanks, while Mills Pond Elementary presented each board member with a pen and flashlight because they light the way for the district. Student in Karen Dennis’s fourth grade class at St. James Elementary School created their own Flip Grid thank-you video for the board members.

Members of the National Junior Honor Society at Accompsett Middle School created a thank-you card and Great Hollow Middle School students gifted each board member with a drawstring bag. Members of the National Honor Society at High School West gave each board member a “Support Our Troops” shirt and Athletes Helping Athletes gifted them with Smithtown athletic spirit wear. Members of the Career and Technology Education department presented the board members with handcrafted wood nameplates for their board table, water bottles, tote bags, homemade muffins and pillowcases. To end the evening, the school’s central administration showed a thank-you video featuring faculty, staff and administrators from throughout the district. 

East Science Researcher Stays Close to Home

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High School East science researcher Kira Conte is staying close to home to do her research for her senior project. Kira has been working with fifth graders at Mills Pond Elementary School to gather data for her upcoming project.

Working alongside High School East science research coordinator Maria Zeitlin, Kira’s project focuses on behavioral science. She’s been preparing and presenting modules about human flourishing  – including growth mindset, self-control, resilience, perseverance and grit – to the students she visits four times per week over a four week period.

After each lesson, Kira compiles data that is self-reported anonymously by the fifth graders. The goal of her research is to see if these lessons actually changed the students’ mindset. Kira has just finished gathering her data at Mills Pond Elementary School and will be working to compile the information for her project, which she hopes to also submit to the Regeneron and Intel science research competitions. 

East Students Spread Inspiration at Mills Pond

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The 50-plus members of the S.I.T.E. (Spreading Inspiration Through Education) Club at High School East are hard at work inspiring a younger generation of students at Mills Pond Elementary.

Club co-presidents Hailey Sheridan and Haleigh Gahan, along with about a dozen members, visit with students at Mills Pond Elementary School each week to provide a hands-on lesson. At their weekly meeting, the students discuss project ideas. Working with the classroom teacher, the students develop an engaging lesson and visit the class to work alongside the students. One or two mentor S.I.T.E students work with the elementary students for small group instruction. At the end of the lesson, the groups present their work to the class. 

On Oct. 17, the students worked in fourth grade classes and presented a lesson based on the scientific method. The students conducted an experiment using Skittles and hot water and wrote a hypothesis, questions and observations.