Fifty of MMI Preparatory School’s 69 competitors placed first in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition and will advance to the state competition, which will be held May 20-21 at Penn State University’s Main Campus in State College.
MMI students presented 76 projects. Seven students finished in the top two in multiple categories. Junior Coleman Smith placed first in two math categories and recorded a perfect score in the one event. Freshman McKenna Gallagher (biology and chemistry), junior Mahum Ahmed (microbiology and math), senior Lauren Babinetz (engineering and math), and senior Joshua Kalada-Kania (botany and zoology) all placed first twice. Junior Andrew Decker was first in biology and second in math and junior Jessica McClellan finished first in behavioral and second in physics.
Additional first place finishers are: Seventh Grade – Brenna Eckhart, Kate Malay, and Nadia Saeed. Eighth Grade – Rachael Betz, Anna Cabell, Ashley Loss, Amelia Minzola, Dustin Paul, Connor Spencer, and Benjamin Zhao. Freshmen – Morgan Allen, Louis DeAngelo, Natalie Graham, Aaron Haber, James Kelly, Sydney Kohl, Katherine Lewandowski, Noah Long, Hiba Muhammad, Samantha Sparich, Ella Urosevich, and Alexis Zola. Sophomores – Emily Ankiewicz, Kai Mele, Katharine Pinto, and Benjamin Putnam. Juniors – Elizabeth Borchick, Nicholas Carrato, Daniel DeMelfi, Elizabeth Eckhart, Wesley Guarneri, Alexander Kline, Morgan Long, Kaitlyn McGeehan, Christine Park, Brian Payne, Bailey Slusser, and Zachary Young. Seniors – Angelica Alday, Chava Kornblatt, Gabriella Kupsho, Abigail Paul, and Julia Snyder.
MMI second place finishers are: Seventh Grade – Lauren Urosevich. Eighth Grade – Lucy Butkiewicz, Elizabeth O’Donnell, Logan Slusser, and Grace Warner. Freshmen – Marcus Danchision, Morgan Hosier, Jordan Kulsa, Cole Rinehimer, Emily Ryan, Jacqueline Snyder, Alexander Young, and Darren Zheng. Sophomores – Catrina Havrilla and Macy Zenier. Juniors – Kelisa Hysenbegasi and Alexander Sessock. Seniors – Lauren Freeman and Jakob Schwabe.
The Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) is a statewide organization of junior and senior high school students designed to stimulate and promote interest in science and mathematics among its members through the development of research projects and investigations.
Due to inclement weather, the students did not attend the Regional Meeting at Wilkes University. Instead, the students presented their projects to MMI faculty and volunteer judges, comprised of MMI PJAS alumni and parents who work in the sciences.