Students Sweep Local Scholarship Contest

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During the town’s annual Earth Day celebration in early May, six Babylon High School students were named winners in this year’s Babylon Covantage EcoTech scholarship contest, sponsored by Covanta Energy. The contest is open to students in any Town of Babylon school who have worked on projects related to sustainability and environmental solutions. Although this was Babylon’s first time entering the contest, the high school students claimed the top three awards, and science research teacher Claire Birone was presented with an official proclamation from Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer and Babylon’s Mayor Ralph Scordino recognizing the great accomplishments of the research program and Babylon’s students.

During the event, sophomore Jack Corcoran won third place and a $500 scholarship for his project, “The effects of changing pH levels in the phytotelmata on the rate of prey decomposition in Nepenthes alata.” Seniors Jed Dale and Max Pitagno placed second and won a $750 scholarship for their project, “The bioremediation of 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (R-134a) by Scenedesmus sp. as facilitated by TiO2 and activated charcoal.” The grand prize of a $1,000 scholarship went to seniors Emily Brown, Sara Mikovic and Meredith Wardell for their project, “The effect of apricot kernels, a proven natural pesticide, on the growth of Phaseolus vulgaris and Cynodon dactylon.”