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Baldwin High School Wins Northwell Health's Annual Science Competition

Government and Law Academy Students Place First for Gun Violence Prevention Video

Baldwin High School Government and Law Academy students, Jessica Darcy, grade 10; Rochelle Saunders, grade 10; Reyna Palmer, grade 9; and Thalia Kontoleon, grade 9, won first place in the Northwell Health’s ninth annual Medical Marvels competition. Hosted by the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the Center for Workforce Readiness, the Medical Marvels encourages regional high school students in ninth and 10th grades to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This is the first time Baldwin High School has competed in the competition in several years. The all-female team took home an $1800 prize, which will be used in the Government and Law Academy. 

Students from 18 schools across Nassau and Suffolk counties were asked to address the issue of gun violence. Teams were required to submit a three-minute recorded presentation that included scientific research assessment of the topic, a technological component, as well as a public health policy strategy to detail how to curb gun violence across the state. 

A panel of scientists, clinicians and health care administrators evaluated each video using a five-point scale scoring rubric. The applications were judged for such qualities as innovation, clarity, approach and measurement of success. 

“For nine years, we have challenged Long Island’s students to address some of the most pressing public health and scientific topics,” said Cheryl Davidson, senior director of Northwell Health’s Center for Workforce Readiness. “This unique competition helps kick-start a positive dialogue between Feinstein Institutes researchers and our nation’s rising STEM stars.” 

The Baldwin High School students presented a suggested solution that could decrease gun deaths by seventy percent over 18-years in the United States. Since most firearm deaths are associated with suicide, proposed legislation included mental health screenings and monitoring, drugs tests, background checks, and safety courses for gun purchasers. 

“We are extremely proud of this dedicated and hard-working group of students from our Government and Law Academy for winning the Medical Marvels competition,” said Dr. Shari L. Camhi, superintendent of schools for Baldwin Union Free School District. “Not only did our high school students successfully present a solution to a real-world issue, but they did so under extraordinary circumstances. Congratulations to this team of talented, bright young women who are nothing short of inspiring. Kudos as well, to Mr. Chris Russo and the teachers and staff who helped make this possible. Our community has shown that even under the most difficult conditions that ‘We are Innovative! We are Involved! We are Inclusive! We are Baldwin!’” 

More than 150 students participated in the Medical Marvels competition, which included a virtual conference day on March 5. During the conference, leaders across Northwell Health shared valuable insight around the issue of gun violence, including a keynote address from Chethan Sathya, MD, director of Northwell’s Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Trauma and pediatric general and thoracic surgeon. 

Additionally, students learned how to “Stop the Bleed” during an interactive workshop with Matthew Bank, MD, chief & critical care surgery. And Sandeep Kapoor, MD, assistant vice president of addiction services, emergency medical services, inspired students with a message to continue the work in this field.

“These students will be future scientific leaders and innovators,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes. “At the Feinstein Institutes, we support and encourage them to pursue impactful and rewarding careers in STEM fields.” 

The students at New Hyde Park Memorial High School placed second while Bellmore JFK finished third in this year’s competition.


Newsday also covered Baldwin High School's Medical Marvel winners in print and online:

LISchools: Baldwin Wins Medical Marvels 

A team from Baldwin Senior High School won the top spot in a local competition that challenged participants to share their ideas to stop gun violence.

The all-female team — Jessica Darcy, Thalia Kontoleon, Reyna Palmer and Rochelle Saunders — placed first last month in this year's Medical Marvels Competition, which is coordinated by the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and Northwell Health's Center for Workforce Readiness.

The ninth annual science fair, which was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, asked freshman and sophomores to create three-minute videos that included a scientific research assessment, a technological component and a public health policy strategy to detail how to curb gun violence statewide. More than 150 students participated from 18 schools across Long Island.

Baldwin's team presented a revamped solution to gun laws by proposing legislation that included mental health screenings, drug tests and background checks — as well as safety courses for anyone trying to purchase guns.

"We are extremely proud of this dedicated and hardworking group of students," Baldwin School District Superintendent Shari L. Camhi said. "Not only did our high school students successfully present a solution to a real-world issue, but they did so under extraordinary circumstances."

Read full article in Newsday >>