Winners of annual Babylon Covantage EcoTech Scholarships announced; over $3,000 in funds awarded
Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer announced the winners of the 2018 Babylon Covantage EcoTech scholarships at the Town’s annual Earth Day Celebration, where 12th graders Kriyal Patel and Aleksandra Bugajczyk of Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School were awarded the top prize of $1,000 in scholarship money. Kriyal and Aleksandra’s project focused on the effects that vaping may have on those who smoke e-cigarettes by studying diketones. Their findings, which come just weeks after the Town of Babylon passed new legislation barring new vape shops and hookah lounges from opening near schools and playgrounds, concluded that vaping has negative effects on the human brain.
The winners were commended by Supervisor Schaffer, as well as other elected officials and representatives including Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez, Councilwoman Jackie Gordon, Councilman Anthony Manetta, Suffolk County Legislator Tom Donnelly and Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre’s Chief of Staff Brendan Cunningham. In addition, Supervisor Schaffer presented a Special Recognition Award to Andrew Sheltz, a science teacher at Babylon Junior-Senior High School, for overseeing two winning submissions to the contest.
The Babylon Covantage EcoTech scholarship contest is a public/private partnership between the Town and Covanta Energy, which operates the energy-from-waste facility in West Babylon. The program is designed to encourage students who are studying environmental science to explore areas related to renewable energy sources, greenhouse gas reduction, alternative building materials, or any other means to mitigate climate change and environmental degradation. This is the 11th consecutive year that these scholarships have been awarded.
The full list of winners for the 2018 Babylon Covantage EcoTech contest is as follows:
Kriyal Patel and Aleksandra Bugajczyk, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High
Danish Farooq, Michael Steffanetta and Greg Kowalczyk, Babylon Junior-
Senior High School: $700
Erin Corcoran, Madeline Graham and Nicole Santucci, Babylon Junior-
Senior High School: $500
Sara Womack, Babylon Memorial Grade School: $300
Jackson Russo, North Babylon High School: $200
Paige Bzdyk, Sophia Sherman and Frederick Nocella, Babylon Junior-
Senior High School: $175
Madison Baudille and Katherine Hannon, Babylon-Junior Senior High
Melanie Garcia and Kiara Bennett, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High
Sheza Mirza, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School: $100
Isaiah Harris, Copiague Middle School: $100