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Thirty of MMI Preparatory School’s 42 participants earned first awards in the 59th annual Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) regional competition and will advance to the PJAS State competition May 17-19 at Penn State’s University Park campus.

MMI PJASMMI’s 42 students completed a total of 45 projects for the competition. Thirty students earned first awards with a total of 32 projects. Additionally, 11 students received second awards and two garnered third awards.

Viva Barrett, Rachael Betz, Lindsay Horvat, Amelia Minzola, and Benjamin Putnam all placed first with a perfect score.  Betz (Excellence Award Microbiology), Horvat (Geisinger Fellowship), Kai Mele (Perseverance Award), Minzola (Excellence Award Biology), Nathaniel Neidlinger (Excellence Award Computer Science), Putnam (Perseverance Award), Morgan Strecker (Excellence Award Botany) and Jessica Zheng (Excellence Award Math) received special awards during the competition. 

Louis DeAngelo and Jessica Zheng earned first awards with two projects and Darren Zheng received a first award with one project and second award with a project on allergies.

Other first award winners were Morgan Allen, Olivia Bartholomew, Annabel Dobash, Brenna Eckhart, McKenna Gallagher, Natalie Graham, Aaron Haber, Katherine Lewandowski, Noah Long, Ashley Loss, Thomas Mayernik, Jillian McGeehin, Hiba Muhammad, Manal Muhammad, Dustin Paul, Jacqueline Snyder, Kennedy Tavaris, Grace Warner, and Colin Williams.

In additional to Darren Zheng, second-award winners were Diane Arias-Tejeda, Morgan Hosier, James Kelly, Kate Malay, Abigail Sparich, Connor Spencer, Ethan Stine, Daniella Vasquez, Kaylee Witner, and Alexandra Young.

Julie Amentler and Kimberly Amentler both earned third awards.

The Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition is designed to stimulate and promote interest in science through the development of research investigations. The competition is open to all students in grades seven to 12 who wish to participate. Students conduct scientific research in one of the 12 scientific categories of research and present their findings to a panel of judges at the regional competition.

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