Ten students from the Wayne Highlands School District participated in this year’s Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science Regional Competition in March 2018. The competition was slated to be held at Wilkes University, in Wilkes-Barre, PA on March 3, 2018, but the event was cancelled due to a weekend snowstorm.

“It was a scramble to try to get these kids to present locally in a timely fashion but the teachers of the Honesdale High School Science Department made it happen,” said PJAS Adviser, Mrs. Rebecca Kretschmer. “Our students were flexible with the weather, as always, and they were able to present their scientific research in a make-shift fashion, sometimes even in front of their own peers; which can be nerve-racking.”

Sophomore Danielle Eifert participated this year for the first time in the category of Behavioral Psychology. “It was certainly an eye-opening experience to the field. I have a new insight now into what professionals must do when conducting research on people. There is a lot that goes into the process, but the outcome is rewarding,” said Eifert. “PJAS was definitely enjoyable and I look forward to participating again next year.”

Student researchers and awards included Alexandra Pinto, 7th Grade, 1st Award, Microbiology and Bacterial Growth on Fruit, Samantha Howey, 9th Grade, 2nd Award, Microbiology and How Cleaning Products Work on Human Contact Surfaces, Robert Kretschmer, 9th Grade, 1st Award, Microbiology and the Investigation of Contamination in Homemade Slime, Danielle Eifert, 10th Grade, 2nd Award, Behavioral Psychology and Positive vs. Negative Reinforcement during Testing, Miranda Fritz, 10th Grade, 1st Award, Botany and the Effect of Organic vs. Conventional Produce on Plant Growth, Hannah Holbert, 10th Grade, 2nd Award, Microbiology and Nuclear Radiation Effects on Bacterial Growth, Dominic Maglione, 10th Grade, 1st Award, Microbiology and the Effect of Gum Flavor on Bacterial Growth, Cindy Perricone, 10th Grade, 1st Award, Zoology and the Golden Ratio of Sea Shells, Dana Pratt, 10th Grade, 1st Award, Microbiology and the Cleanliness of Household Sponges, and Jacob Adams, 11th Grade, 2nd Award, Behavioral Psychology and the Effect of Images on Product Preference.

All first award winners are invited to compete again at the state level. These six students will be traveling to Penn State University to compete with over 3,000 students from across the state of Pennsylvania late May.