Two teams of young scientists at Bayville Intermediate School have been named regional winners in the prestigious Toshiba ExploraVision competition. 

In the K-3 category, a team of third graders thought up the idea of Float Tee’s, shirts made from woven fabric that has buoyant properties. The concept is intended to prevent drownings in children under five-years-old since drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in that age group. The students felt that life vests and other personal flotation devices are bulky, making them uncomfortable for children to wear and difficult to pack for a family vacation. The team is researching the properties that keep plankton afloat and applying those properties to their invention. Coached by librarian Paige Coppola and mentored by teaching assistant Donna DeJesu, the team is made up of Emilia Bayerlander, Evie Bergman, Lucia Connolly and Adhvaith Sreenivas.


A team of fourth graders took the regional title for the grade 4-6 category for their idea to create robotic bivalves to filter PCBs from contaminated rivers. These cancer-causing chemicals are found in the sediments of riverbeds and ocean floors. Normal dredging to remove the contamination brings 10 percent of the PCBs back into the water. The team, inspired by advances in biomimicry, proposes that the robotic bivalves would function like living clams, mussels or oysters, sinking to the bottom of the riverbed, removing the harmful PCBs and floating back to the top without harming wildlife. Cyclodextrin sponges would collect the PCBs, which are known to break down faster when bonded to cyclodextrins. This ethical invention targets the Hudson River but can be used in other rivers that have PCB contamination. Coached by Paige Coppola and mentored by teaching assistant Debbie McKillen, the team consists of John Hartnett and Matthew Santibanez.


Regional winners receive a Toshiba PC for their school, a technology related gift for each student and a congratulatory ceremony hosted by Toshiba at the school. Each team is now required to create a video and a website detailing their project as their entry into the national level of the competition. Submissions are due April 7. 

The students competed against thousands of others and are among only 24 regional winners. Teams selected as national winners earn a trip to Washington D.C. and each team member receives a $10,000 bond. Two LVCSD teams were national winners in the 2016 competition – one from Bayville Intermediate School and one from Locust Valley Intermediate School. 


Three LVCSD teams earned Honorable Mention, which is also an outstanding accomplishment. They are:


Locust Valley High School:

Project:  Lumie Flower

Coach: Christopher Hoppner

Team: Ninth graders Jessica Bianco, Lisa Cheung and Beatrix Postley


Bayville Intermediate School:

Project: Glo'n Gro 

Coach: Paige Coppola

Mentor: Donna DeJesu

Team: Fourth-graders Connor Geertgens, Isabella Iodice, Abigail Maselli and Jonah Santoro


Project: The Water Collector 

Coach: Paige Coppola

Mentor: Donna DeJesu

Team: Fifth-graders William deLauzon, Justin Dvorak, Ainsley Johnson and Stella Viscovich


Toshiba describes the ExploraVision competition as an opportunity for students to expand their imaginations and have fun while developing an interest in science, technology, engineering and math. Participating students developed and researched solutions to different problems in the world and wrote detailed research papers that highlighted their ideas.