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Commack Wins National Recognition in Toshiba Exploravision
National Exploravision WinnersCongratulations to our Commack High School science research students and their teacher/mentor, Richard Kurtz, who were named 2nd place national winners in the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition. Ninth grade students Christine, Kimberly, Michael, and Louis, along with teacher and mentor Richard Kurtz, won an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the national awards ceremony in June. Each student winner will receive a $5,000 U.S. EE Savings Bond. Mr. Kurtz will receive NSTA membership for one year and an all expense-paid trip to one of the NSTA conferences of his choice as an ExploraVision Ambassador. As Regional winners each team member and Mr. Kurtz already received a portable hard drive and framed certificates. The school was awarded a Toshiba laptop, an engraved plaque, and a banner that will be proudly mounted in the hallway of our High School. 

The ExploraVision competition challenges students to envision and communicate new technology that would be feasible 20 years into the future and that would solve a real world problem. Our group came up with "Scat Scan: The Future of Microbiome Analysis," which would use a retractable arm to deliver a sample of feces to a miniature glass microfluidic computer chip, which would then extract DNA and isolate the prokaryotic 16S ribosomal RNA gene using PCR amplification and sequencing. Results would be sent to the user's smartphone, providing "fast, clean, and convenient data about their microbiome health."

“We are very proud that our students and our renowned high school science research program are once again receiving national recognition,” said Dr. Donald James, Superintendent. “Their vision of the future may well advance the discovery and treatment of medical conditions and enhance the health of generations to come.”

The students' project video can be found here: http://scatscan.weebly.com/.
Photos from the Regional Awards Ceremony
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