Local kids make strong showing at LI physics competition

02/14/2011 5:27 PM |
Riverhead High School Rube Goldberg competition

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | This contraption, photographed at the local Rube Goldberg competition in December, took 2nd place at the LI contest in Garden City Saturday.

In it’s first year of competing in the nationwide Rube Goldberg Competition, Riverhead High School teams finished second and third in the regional event Saturday at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.

Riverhead sent six teams to the competition, where they were matched against teams from across Long Island, according to Suzanne Hulme, the district’s K-12 science director.

Riverhead High School had its own competition Dec. 23, from which the six winners emerged.

The contest requires students to make contraptions that take far more steps than necessary to accomplish a simple goal, in this case, watering a plant, a la the old Mouse Trap board game. A minimum of 20 steps was required.
Finishing second was the Toy Box group of students Conrad Buhner, Andrew Plattner, Dan Morgan, Jimmy Peterson, Ed Schneck, and Robert Sosik.

Third place went to The Beatles, whose members were Mary VerDeber, Tara Smith, Macey Reichel and Nick Disalvo.
A team from Lynbrook High School in Nassau County took first place. Unfortunately for the Riverhead teens, only the first place team moved on to the national competition in Detroit.

The six teams that competed were made up of students from the 11th and 12th grade Regents and AP Physics classes, and 9th graders in the Smart Physics class, Ms. Hulme said.

“It was very exciting to be a part of a national competition and see our school do so well,” said Ms. Hulme. “These students represent the best of the best. We are very proud of them, and of their teachers, Greg Wallace, Kim Skinner, and Brian Cunningham, who devote a great deal of personal time to making this project come alive. Science and technology education is thriving at Riverhead Central School District.”

“It was very exciting to be a part of a national competition and see our school do so well,” Ms. Hulme said. “These students represent the best of the best. We are very proud of them, and of their teachers, Greg Wallace, Kim Skinner, and Brian Cunningham, who devoted a great deal of personal time to making this project come alive.

“Science and technology education is thriving at Riverhead Central School District.”

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