Town Of Hempstead Honors Siemens Westinghouse Finalist, Regional Finalists and Semifinalists

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray honored students from throughout the township at the January 13th Town Board meeting. The students include a finalist, semifinalists and regional finalists in the Siemens Westinghouse Science Competition.

“We have such an extraordinary amount of talent in the Town of Hempstead and these students represent the best and brightest that our town has to offer,” said Murray. “Not only is their high level of work extraordinary, but the dedication to their elite projects is commendable.”

The Town of Hempstead is very proud to honor the following students for making it to the semifinals: Mehagn Bialt-DeCelie, Benjamin Golbin and Levy Sominsky of Hewlett High School; Adina Singer of Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls; and Alan Khaykin of Oceanside High School. Our very own regional finalists are Lee Blackburn and Arthur Chen of Lawrence High School and their partner Justin Lish of the Hebrew Academy of Five Towns and Rockaways; and Russell Charnoff of the Hebrew Academy of Five Towns and Rockaways. In addition, Hempstead Town is home to one finalist: Katie Mazalkova of Valley Stream Central High School.

Regional finalists Lee Blackburn, Arthur Chen and Justin Lish each received a $1,000 scholarship for having competed in a regional competition at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in November.  Their project was: “Optimization of Catalytic Activity in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells Utilizing Metal-Functionalized Graphene Oxide/Partially Reduced Graphene Oxide Coatings.” This project researched the potential of making the hydrogen fuel cell a viable energy source.  Regional Finalist Russell Charnoff received a $1,000 scholarship also for his project, “Synthesis and Characterization of Graphene Nanoparticle Infused Polyethylene Nanocomposite Material for Enhanced Mechanical and Thermal Properties.”

The finalist, Katie Mazalkova of Valley Stream competed with her partner from Jericho High School in the finals at George Washington University in Washington D.C. and they split a $30,000 scholarship.  Their project was, “A novel target for drug-medicated atherosclerosis cessation.” This project examined a strain of aortic stem cells and their role in the immune response that causes atherosclerosis.  Their research could develop new ways of treating heart disease.

“The Town of Hempstead is very proud of these exceptional students,” said Murray. “I would like to congratulate the students, their families and schools for their outstanding achievements. I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

This year, a record number of 4,428 students registered for the competition and 1,784 projects were submitted. 408 students were named semifinalists and 97 were named regional finalists who advanced to compete at six Universities across the country. In New York State, 67 students were named Semifinalists and 17 students were named Regional finalist.  10 students reside in the Town of Hempstead (1 Finalist, 4 Regional finalists and 5 Semifinalists).