IHS Science Club Brings Back Great Scores From PJAS Competition


On Sunday, February 27th the IHS science club students were provided with their scores from the previous day’s competition, PJAS, at Slippery Rock University. Upon the arrival of their scores, came excited students, many of which move onto states in May.

The IHS Science Club, run by science teachers Mrs. Hixson, Mrs. Edmonds, and Mr. Lehman, and math/stats teacher Dr. Layden, attended the PJAS regional science competition at Slippery Rock University. This competition is the first of many throughout the remainder of the school year.

“I enjoy discussing the various student projects and working together to help students find solutions to the myriad of problems that crop up in the process. It always amazes me how my colleagues can come up with ingenious ways for students to explore their research with the resources we have, all while trying to guide students to come up with solutions on their own,” mentioned Mrs. Hixson

At this competition science club students within the same region also arrived at Slippery Rock to compete, each student’s project is grouped into a scientific category (ex. Biology, engineering, botany, etc.) theses students are then assigned rooms based on these categories. Meaning all the students from each category would be grouped together and present in front of one another as well as judges who were also present. Each category has a corresponding rubric along which the students are graded (this means there are multiple 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places throughout each category).

All of the students worked very hard in the months prior to formulate their projects and presentations. Their preparations include everything from testing and taking data to interviewing students and putting together statistics. Throughout the day, students got to hear others’ presentations, present their own work, explore some areas of slippery rock university, have downtime to discuss and work off some nerves, and of course take the yearly photo at the rock.

“My project was about how magnets affect how charged particles move and I prepared by practicing my presentation what I was supposed to in front of other classes, as well as outside of school, including on the way to PJAS,” explained senior Andrew Kuzneski on how he best prepared for the competition.

Although there was only a day between the presentations and the release of scores, students were eagerly waiting to find out if they had moved onto states in the coming months, a special congratulations to all of the club members and their continued hard work as well as to those who received special awards and those moving onto states.

Photo courtesy of the IHS Science Club

Moving onto states:

Seniors Juniors Sophomores Freshmen

Jenna Conrad Kiley Branan Isabella Yuha Vania Ali

Andrew Kuzneski Emma Grim Hannah Cowburn

Trista Newman Gabe Kenning Gavin Dunmyer

Carly Wang Olivia Krimin Lillian Stevens

Sophie Runge

Julia Runge

Special Awards:

Directors Awards – Julia Runge, and Lillian Stevens

Perfect Score – Julia Runge

Best in Botany Category Award – Jenna Conrad

Best is Physics Category Award – Andrew Kuzneski

The entire science club will attend a separate competition, PRSEF, on March 23, where they will be able to meet other students and explore their projects but also meet representatives from colleges in the area and explore the Carnegie Science Center. PJAS states will be held later in May. The club allows the students many opportunities to explore the world of STEM and careers within it.

“There is nothing like getting a group of bright young minds together to talk about what they are passionate about. The energy and enthusiasm is infectious. After attending these events I know that there is great hope for the future of humanity. Also the food, Penn State Creamery ice cream is something I look forward to every May! Science club is open to everyone who is interested in pursuing their own research idea. If this sounds interesting to you be sure to join us next fall during club sign-ups!” commented Mrs. Hixson.

A final congratulations and recognition of all their hard work awarded to the students of the IHS science club who competed and presented project at PJAS and will again at PRSEF.

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