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Art + Tech Highlighted at Shows

Art + Tech Highlighted at Shows photo

Both the Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools combined arts and robotics to create electrifying shows on May 9 and 16, respectively.

“The concept was that when everyone is the same it is boring,” explained Michelle Biancardo, a technology and coding teacher at both middle schools. “What makes society interesting is the difference between people. Sometimes that difference can create dissonance, but more often it can create beauty, cooperation and fun.”

At Merrick Avenue, the Robotics Club used Makey Makey kits to code messages and music from each artist when the clay ball was pressed, completing the circuit.

This year at the Grand Avenue Spring Expo, art and technology collaborated again to create an interactive installation called "CLIQUE." 
The Robotics Club, lead by Biancardo and the Art Club, lead by Nicholas Giordano, worked together to attach the large scale artwork to coded sounds. 

“The balloons are attached to wires and copper tape, which acts like a conductor,” explained Dillon Moi, an eighth grader in the Robotics Club. “These small motherboards were wired to helium balloons and aluminum touch pads to "complete the circuit and create a sound that supportd the main idea.”

Pennies for Patients

Which team can raise the most money for the pennies for patients campaign?

Make your online donation today using the link to your team's official online donation page:

7th Grade Teams:

• Awesome
• Team Dynamite
Team Fire
• Team Supreme

8th Grade Teams:

• Team Discovery
• Team House Braves
Team Justice
• Team Legacy
• Team Warriors

Former Students Impart Words of Wisdom

Grand Avenue welcomed back former students who imparted words of wisdom on the Drama Club and other school extracurriculars. Biscaydence, University of Miami's a capella group who just came in second at Nationals, stopped by to perform for current students. The Drama Club and Grand Voices were treated to pop hits in the style of Pentatonix. Biscaydence is currently spearheaded by Steven Alexander, a 2013 graduate of Grand Avenue who is now attending University of Miami for a degree in music education. Another former Drama member, Richie Jackson, is now a Tony-nominated Broadway producer for his work on Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song. Mr. Jackson recalled his Grand Avenue memories from 40 years prior with that club and the newly-formed Gay Straight Alliance. His play will compete for the Tony this June. Lots of Grand Avenue alumni doing big things!

Hack Squad Competes

Bellmore-Merrick Middle Schools Hack Squad Competes at Long Island Event photo

The First Long Island OYO Hack-a-Thon event took place on April 12 at Mineola Middle School and eight of the top coders from Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue middle schools competed against 10 districts from Long Island.

“The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District Hack Squad unveiled their finest code in the last few minutes to take a leap and finish in second place,” said Michelle Biancardo, a faculty adviser at Grand Avenue. 

The students worked for three straight hours competing to take over territories on a map.

“Each territory on the map is a challenge in a different programming language and the students had to create them within the three-hour time frame,” added Dan Stiglitz, a faculty adviser at Merrick Avenue. “The competition came down to the last 10 minutes of attacks and Syosset overtook Bellmore-Merrick in the final battle of the game.”

Grand Avenue hackers Nick Atsidakos, Max Frank, Anthony Hoffman and Matt Yang were joined by Merrick Avenue hackers Carly Curnutt, Ben Knigin, Shardul Singh and Kenan Yavuz.

Freedom Tower Visit

The Grand Ave. Yorker Club went on their final trip of the year to One World Trade Center (freedom tower) on Monday, April 29. Students went to the 102 floor to experience the panoramic views of the city. Along with advisors Mr. Bargiel and Mr. Rummenie members also toured the north and south pools, the oculus building and then walked a few blocks to Trinity Church where students were able to visit steamship inventor Robert Fulton's grave as well as first Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton! Mother Nature once again cooperated with beautiful blue skies.

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