Students are busy in the arts and sciences


Long Beach students have been busy over the past month putting on shows, winning awards, and completing athletic achievements in elementary, middle and high schools.

The Long Beach High School Theatre Company presented Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ to family and friends with three performances on March 9, 10 and 11. The show featured 52 cast members, including the featured dance troupe and ensemble, 22 musicians and a backstage crew of 17 students. 

Student Sammie Fales, who played Ariel, sang The World Above, to open the production. Several more songs such as Part of Your World, and the most famous of the show’s songs, Under the Sea, followed her.

Some characters in the cast included Ursula, played by Ava Lithgow, Flounder, played by Max Rosenzweigh, Sebastian, played by Stephania Robinson and Prince Eric, played by Jacob LoCascio. The production team included Director Jordan Hue, along with Musical Director Dr. Michael Capobianco and Choreographer Christianne Vella.

“These dedicated and talented students lit up the stage with their energy leaving the audience wanting more,” said Julia Lang-Shapiro, director of media, visual and performing arts.

Dancers and gymnastics in the district have been busy as well.

The Long Beach High School Hip Hop dancers performed before the Brooklyn Nets game against the Charlotte Hornets on March 5. The choreography was handled by past high school graduate Katherine Almeida. The varsity gymnastics team won the Nassau County Gymnastics Sportsmanship Award last week as well. The award was voted on by all the officials in Nassau County and the team received the award at the county dinner.

At the Feb. 14 Board of Education meeting, Long Beach Public Schools Director of Science Cristie Tursi and 13 Long Beach Middle School students shared an overview of new sixth-grade science with members of the board.

The project — called the Microgravity Project — is part of Mission 17 of the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program. The goal of the program is to provide students with an opportunity to participate in America’s Space Program. Students can become the “architects” of a project to be conducted in space by astronauts on the International Space Station.

The winning team’s proposal was “How Does Microgravity Affect the Germination of Oyster Mushroom Spawns (Pleurotus ostreatus).” There were two other finalists in Long Beach.

In the next phase of the project, Tursi and the rest of the science department will collaborate with the Long Beach Director of the Arts, Julia Lang-Shapiro, and the K-12 Art Departments on the Mission Patch Art and Design Contest. There will be two contests, one for students in elementary school and another for middle and high school students. In June, mission patches will be launched to the International Space Station, along with the science experiment designed by the sixth-grade students, and the patches will return to Long Beach with embossed certificates after it is complete.

Finally, Lindell Elementary School held its annual Wellness Fair on Feb. 17. Students and their teachers enjoyed a day of physical activity, mindfulness, nutrition and safety.

Students and teachers alike learned techniques to ensure proper hydration, dental hygiene, bus and community safety, heart health and breathing. Yoga and dance instructors, physical therapists and fitness professionals packed the school. A series of 20-minute sessions and classes took place across the entire school, including in the auditorium, gym, libraries, art room and numerous classrooms. The students, and teachers, learned a great deal about health.