Heard Around the Watercooler – May 2016

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Three students from Irvington Middle School were named top chemists in the state after placing first, second and third at the New York “You Be The Chemist Challenge,” held April 16 at the BASF Research and Development Facility in Tarrytown. Seventh grader Henry Demarest won first place, while eighth graders Rishit Gupta and Zachary Rosman were named runner-up and second runner-up, respectively. As the state champion, Demarest will receive an all-expense paid trip to Philadelphia to represent the state at the National Challenge on June 20.

Two local eighth graders, Stella Banino and Jamie Nolf, teamed up to compete against the world in a math contest. They tackled the daunting questions of the “Purple Comet! Math Meet,” a contest offered over the Internet that is taken by 2000 teams in 48 countries, from Afghanistan to Scarsdale. The contest covers algebra and geometry, but also topics such as number theory and combinatorics which are outside the standard middle school curriculum. The duo attend the Math Workshop at Warner Library and took the contest to further hone their skills. Their team scored 30%, which is the median score for a test of this difficulty and considered very impressive for this age and exceedingly high level of challenge.


Students and parents participate in Walking School Bus program.
Students and parents participate in
Walking School Bus program.

More than 40 Dows Lane Elementary School and Main Street School students in Irvington walked to school on April 14 as part of the District’s Walking School Bus program, which began that day. The program is designed to promote walking as a health activity and reinforce pedestrian safety. Students and parents can join the walks at different points, catching the school bus at stops along the way, depending on how much of their school route they would like to walk. Dows Lane participants received “I walked to school” stickers on the first day. One group was guided by Irvington police detective Michael Toolan in crossing the street at Harriman Road and Broadway. “District families seem really excited about the program. It helps students practice safe walking and get a little outdoor time before their day at a desk begins,” said Maura Gedid, the “Safe Routes to School” coordinator. “It also helps parents to get some exercise and spend a little unplugged time with the kids before school. Finally, it reduces car traffic around the schools at rush hour.” The program, which works like a car pool with parent volunteers conducting the group, will continue weekly until the end of the year. Any parents who are interested in joining a route to Dows Lane or Main Street can contact Gedid at irvingtonsaferoutes@gmail.com.

Two Destination Imagination teams from the Main Street School in Irvington took top honors at the 2016 New York State Destination Imagination Affiliate Tournament, held in Binghamton on April 9. The Fantastic Fiolians, a fifth-grade team, took third place in the “Get a Clue” category, and the Imaginators, a fourth-grade team, took second place in the “Meme” category at the state competition. “It was awesome to watch them compete,” Principal Joyce Chapnick said. “While they were focused and driven, they were also having so much fun. We are so proud of all that they accomplished in DI this year. A special thank you to our team managers who spent countless hours supporting our teams.” The Irvington Education Foundation sponsors Main Street School’s Destination Imagination program. This was the Irvington Union Free School District’s second year participating in Destination Imagination.

“Heard Around the Watercooler” would like to thank Jenifer Ross for creating this column along with the wonderful workspace in Tarrytown from which the column’s name was coined. While the Watercooler Hub will be tremendously missed, we know that Jen’s creativity and countless talents will continue to grace our community.

Please send submissions about special distinctions and honors given to local community members to: thewatercooler@thehudsonindependent.com

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