FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM APRIL 6, 2017 • THE QUEENS COURIER 21 Bayside teen builds mobile game, presents it at fair BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI email@example.com @smont76 A Bayside student who developed his own mobile game application joined over 2,000 public high school students from the five boroughs at an invite-only tech and programming fair this week. Mohak Mankani, a junior at Bayside High School, created, coded and developed Table tennis champs from Fresh Meadows take on lawmaker BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI Khaldarov said. “And it was also a and better,” Vigoda said. “It’s fun to see firstname.lastname@example.org team-building experience, because we the students’ dedication and commitment @smont76 had to give each other encouragement … and see them get better every week.” And it really helped us bond. We cheered After the friendly match, Lancman presented The newly crowned championship table each other on and it was just a whole each member of the team with a certificate tennis team at M.S. 216 in Fresh Meadows group effort.” to commemorate their achievement. taught a local lawmaker some tricks in a Vigoda said that table tennis is a growing “I congratulate the M.S. 216 girls table celebratory match-up last week. sport, both here in Queens and citywide. tennis team and Coach Paul Vigoda on The M.S. 216 girls table tennis team winning the NYC championship earlier earned the coveted title at the 2017 New “Every year I get more and more kids this month,” Lancman said. “The team’s York City Middle School Table Tennis to try out, and the competition gets better success this season is a testament to each League (NYCMSTTL) championship on March 4. The team played a friendly post-victory match against Councilman Rory Lancman and the school’s principal, Reginald Landeau Jr., on March 24. During the championship, the team of seventh- and eighth-graders went up against 15 other teams from middle schools throughout the five boroughs, according to Coach Paul Vigoda. The team practiced three times a week since last October in preparation. “Though the season is over, we continue to practice,” Vigoda said. “A lot of the players are coming back next year; and the ones that are graduating want to play in high school.” Players Sydney Ho, Samantha Guan, Gabriella Khaldarov, Miryum Katanova, Sofia Shamuilova, Evelina Abramov and Flora Lin edged out a team from Manhattan in the exciting final round of the championship. “It was a really fun experience; nerve-wracking at the same time,” student’s hard work and dedication, along with Coach Vigoda’s expert instruction. It is gratifying to see the passion and excitement these students have for table tennis, and it is my hope that more NYC students will get involved in the years ahead.” Editor’s note: This article was to have appeared in the March 30 Queens Courier, but was accidentally omitted due to a technical error. We regret any confusion which may have resulted. “Dot Shall Not Pass” — a strategic iOS game with more than 50 levels of increasing difficulty. He was granted the opportunity to present his work at the 2017 NYC Computer Science Opportunity Fair in Manhattan on March 29. “The idea of Dot Shall Not Pass is to get the blue dot to the main goal,” Mankani said. “And the main goal of the game is to see how many levels you can get through.” Mankani was one of 2,000 high school students encouraged to network with big shots from Spotify, Splice, Buzzfeed, Warby Parker, Goldman Sachs, CodeNewbie and Microsoft, as well as representatives from colleges offering computer science programs, at the event. “The fair was really fun and unique,” Mankani said. “It was interesting to interact with people and tell them what my game was about.” The 17-year-old student, who is completely self-taught in programming and coding, said he went through a series of trial and error to make sure his game came out the way he wanted it to. He developed multiple beta versions of Dot Shall Not Pass before deciding on the final product. “I was 12, and I started looking at videos and reading books on programming,” Mankani said. “And I’m still developing my skills today … Two years ago, I used to play iOS games a lot. And it really inspired me to make my own.” Mankani explained that he was encouraged to apply to present at the fair by Renne Castro, a computer programming teacher at Bayside High School. “One of the most interesting aspects about Mohak is that he hasn’t had any traditional education in computer science,” Castro said. “I’ve seen his game and programming skills evolve over the years at an impressive rate. I look forward to having him next year in my AP Computer Science course and seeing what he can accomplish with some formal instruction.” Those interested in downloading Mankani’s game can do so by visiting https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dotshall not-pass/id1128995046?mt=8. The NYC Computer Science Opportunity Fair (CS Fair) is the city’s largest annual college and career inspiration event for public high school students studying computer science. kids & education Photos: Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS Players from M.S. 216 and their coach, Paul Vigoda, stand with their championship trophy. Photo by Alexis Buryk Mohak Manhani and his presentation at the 2017 NYC Computer Science Opportunity Fair in Manhattan.
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