Iroquois school students win top prize in NYNEX "Kids In Touch" network contest

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ROCHESTER -- Students in Kathy Taddeos fourth-grade class at Iroquois School are now experts on how a telecommunications network operates. Their entry in the first NYNEX Kids In Touch (KIT) "Best Ping-Pong Ball Network Ever" contest was chosen as the New York State winner and, on Thursday (June 8), the principal, teacher and students will be awarded more than $2,500 in cash and prizes. NYNEX Group Vice President Duane Albro will make the presentation.

"NYNEX is proud to sponsor this contest which helps teachers to develop students' understanding of teamwork, problem solving skills and the networking principles that are the building blocks of the Information Superhighway," said Albro.

For their winning entry, Ms. Taddeo's students created a telecommunications network capable of sending a variety of messages around the classroom. Using egg cartons, carboard tubes and other materials brought from home, the students assembled a network of "telephone lines" that allowed blue and white ping-pong balls to travel from an input through a transport to an intersection where the balls were "switched" in one of several directions. Each sequence of ping-pong balls -- one blue and two white, for instance -- conveyed a unique message, such as "we are hungry."

The entry was selected for its creative choice of materials, versatility, originality of the network and effectiveness of documentation. The Iroquois School was chosen from four New York finalists -- Ms. Fitch's class at Forest Lake School in Wantagh, Ms. Gardner's class at Holy Family School in Watertown and Ms. Setzer's class at Sing Sing Elementary in Horseheads were the other finalists.

The principal of the Iroquois School, Edward Paulsen, will accept the $1,000 cash prize. Ms. Taddeo will receive a $500 gift certificate for educational products and all 23 children who participated in the building of the network will receive a Kids In Touch backpack, t-shirt, watch, KIT button and certificate.

The contest is based on an activity in the NYNEX Kids In Touch educational program, a hands-on introduction to telecommunications concepts that is being distributed at no charge to 4th, 5th and 6th grade teachers in New York and New England. Nearly 9,000 teachers have the NYNEX KIT program in their classrooms today.

State winners also were selected throughout New England, with the New Hampshire class also earning the contests top prize of $2,500 in cash for the school, a $1,000 gift certificate for the teacher and $200 in U.S. Savings Bonds for each student.

(The following is a list of Ms. Taddeo's students involved in the project.)

Kristen Burhans
Caitlin Bassegio
Matt Cross
Brenda Cushman
Adam Dartz
Cymetrise Edwards
Stephen Fintel
Jamie Ryan Gardner
Jimmy Hawver
Michelle Magin
Alexa Parkhurst
Adam Peo
Dustin Raymond
Stephanie Repp
Jesslyn Rojas
Phoebe Rounds
Dave Scalzo
Timothy Scott
John Simon
Ryan Trevas
Kevin Williams
Jamie Wright
Katie Vieira


NYNEX is a global communications and media company that provides a full range of services in the northeastern United States and high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The Corporation is a leader in the telecommunications, wireless communications, cable television, directory publishing and entertainment and information services.


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