Senator Jack M. Martins visited Great Neck North High School recently, where he met with three special students – Michelle Hackman, Harry Chiang and David Kaufman. All three took part in the Intel Science Talent Search with Harry and David being named semi-finalists and Michelle reaching the finals, where she captured second place.
These three special students will be moving on to the next step of their academic lives after they graduate in a few weeks, but they have undoubtedly left their mark in Great Neck. Besides being well-rounded students who got accepted to two of the top schools in the country (Michelle will be going to Yale and Harry and David will be attending Harvard), the three students also worked hard to nurture their talents, spending numerous hours doing research for their projects.
Michelle’s project focused on use of cell phones. She separated a group of students from the cell phones and left one group with their phones. She found that the group without their phones became more lethargic. She very well may have proven that there is a such thing as cell phone addiction. “I’m predicting there is,” she said with a smile.
Michelle went all the way to the finals of the Intel competition. When she is not involved in her studies, she sings with the jazz choir and started the recycling program. Michelle and a friend have also lead efforts to fund and promote construction of a rural school in Cambodia for underprivileged girls.
Harry’s project, “New Determination of the Transport and Thermodynamic Coefficients of the Quark Gluon Plasma,” took him to Stony Brook University for his research. Harry is also an accomplished violinist.
David’s project, “Searching for Signal: Statistical Analysis of High Energy Particle Collisions,” sought to use statistics and mathematics to achieve more accurate data. David is also an accomplished pianist, having studied classical piano at the Manhattan School of Music pre-college division for over seven years and winning many competitions and participating in many music festivals in the U.S. and abroad.
Senator Martins expressed his pride in the students and presented each of them with a resolution that was passed on the floor of the Senate. “The fact that Great Neck had five Intel semi-finalists isn’t an accident. The school district and the community made a commitment to make this happen and the students worked hard to achieve their goals. I commend them. Our future is in good hands.”
Senator Martins also commended Great Neck South Principal Bernard Kaplan, science department chair Tom Elkins, and project advisors Marie Van Nieuwenhuizen and Alan Schorn for their work with the students.