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HS Robotics Students Display “Drive” for Excellence

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Despite the unique and challenging aspects of 2021, the students of West Islip High School’s robotics team saw an opportunity to sink their teeth into a difficult design and manufacturing project. Members applied lessons learned from the fields of mechanical design, computer aided design, manual and CNC machining, and metrology to design a specialized drive system called “Swerve Drive” for their robot.

Working alongside professional engineers, robotics team members developed a concept for a drive system capable of powering their robot in any direction. They began with a hand-drawn concept sketch and used CAD to create a digital model of the module. From that digital model, team members manufactured all of the components using industrial machinery in the high school’s robotics lab including both manual and CNC milling machines, lathes and even 3D printers. After many weeks of effort, a final prototype was successfully tested, giving the team new confidence and a set of skills that they will be able to take advantage of as next year’s competition season approaches.

“It is quite amazing what the robotics team was able to accomplish in such a very different type of school year,” said Brian Buonomo, lead teacher for engineering technology. “The team has always risen to the occasion to lead our students to success and 2020-2021 was no obstacle for them at all.”

Saving a Seal Thanks to Students from Manetuck

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Manetuck celebrated its 16th annual Seal Release, sponsored by the school’s Community Service Club in collaboration with the New York Rescue Marine Center at Smith Point County Park. Students received sponsorships for participating in the Seal Release Walk-a-Thon, with all proceeds used for the rehabilitation of aquatic animals so they can be returned to their natural habitats. This year, Marullo, a seal named in honor of Vince Marullo, was returned to his ocean home.


Middle School Poets at Beach Street Publish Book

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Sixth graders in Andrea Miller’s class at Beach Street wrote their own poems, decorated the pages and had them published in a book.

Celebrating West Islip’s Nearpod Super Star Teachers

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At the end of the 2020-2021 school year, Nearpod sent some swag for teachers to the district. The goodies were presented to the top Nearpod Super Star user in each building: Dawn Divisconti at the high school, Tara Probert at Beach Street, Kristen Finnegan at Udall, Joann Sheridan at Bayview, Sue Marullo at Manetuck, Gina Marie Hildebrandt at Oquenock and Melanie Solnick at Bellew.


Oquenock Fifth Graders Present JFK Research

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Fifth grade investigators at Oquenock spent two weeks researching the assassination of Pres. John F. Kennedy. The students then created presentations explaining what they believe happened using details and information from their research.