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Cottage Lane Thanks Jaffee, Recognizes Student Award Winners

Students, staff, administrators and other community members gathered at Cottage Lane Elementary School in Blauvelt last week to recognize four award-winning students and thanked Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee for securing grant money that funded the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP) Competition.

Approximately 300 South Orangetown Central School District 300 students in grades five through 12 took part in a science experiment contest and 1,400 participated in a Mission Patch Design Contest.

Cottage Lane fifth gradres Luke Rabinowitz, Colm Shalvey and Zachary Visconti won the science experiment design contest. Their entry, which will test the growth of lettuce seeds in microgravity, will be carried up to the International Space Station. The launch is set for May 1, with a return to Earth in July. Updates will be posted on the SOCSD website


There were two Mission Patch Contest winners. Cottage Lane fourth grader Olivia Jones's design will represent grades K-4 and Tappan Zee High School freshman Carlee deFrancesco's will represent grades 5-12.


Rabinowitz, Shalvey, Visconti and Jones were recognized during the assembly, answering questions about their work from teacher Jacob Tanenbaum and Jaffee.

Jaffee secured a $40,000 legislative grant which was used to fund the program and for students to travel to the launch site in Virginia in May. Jaffee is a supporter of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. 

"The enthusiasm of so many budding scientists, researchers, artists, and engineers is an inspiration," Jaffee said. "They are the future of this country and our state. Parents, educators, elected officials; we must continue our work together to ensure that all students, no matter their gender, race or economic circumstances, have access to a quality STEM education and remarkable programs like this one."

Cottage Lane Principal Karen Ramirez and Jaffee both recognized the work of Tanenbaum, who helped organize SOCSD involvement in SSEP. Ramirez spoke about his enthusiasm drawing in so many participants. 

"I wanted to acknowledge Jacob Tanenbaum," Jaffee said. "I was a teacher for many years. I know that teacher can really make a difference in a child's life."

Check out video from the Jan. 16 assembly here
Pat Tobin January 23, 2014 at 08:03 AM
Great job students!!

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