Five Tyrone Students Place at Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science Competition

The competition was held at Penn State Altoona


Tiffany Hoy

L-R: Jacey Whitcomb, Garin Hoy, Katrina Hagenbuch,Miranda Goodman, Grace Gensimore

Five Tyrone Area School District students won awards at the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) Region 6 competition at Penn State Altoona Campus on March 5, 2016.  The winners were:

  • Miranda Goodman, Grade 7 (Physics) – 1st Award, Perfect Score, Special Judges’ Award
  • Garin Hoy, Grade 7 (Biology) – 1st Award, Special Judges’ Award
  • Jacey Whitcomb, Grade 9 (Biology) – 2nd Award
  • Grace Gensimore, Grade 10 (Ecology) – 1st Award
  • Katrina Hagenbuch, Grade 12 (Behavioral) – 1st Award

Special Judge’s Awards are projects deemed significant by judges and receive an additional award along with a certificate and cash prize.

Tyrone High School Ag educator Tiffany Hoy became a PJAS sponsor for the Tyrone Area School District this year. It was the first time the school district has competed in this competition.

According to their website, 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 among its members through the development of research projects and investigations. The goals of PJAS are:

  • To promote greater participation in science and mathematics activities among the youth of Pennsylvania.
  • To improve the quality of achievement in mathematics and science by encouraging students to participate in research and develop original ideas.
  • To develop an understanding of the scientific community through close association with leaders in the sciences.
  • To seek the improvement of science clubs activities through the cooperative regional and state meetings.
  • To inculcate among its members true scientific attitudes and humanistic ideals that shall lead to the greater development of service to man.

“I just wanted to give my students another area to take their agri-science fair projects and to practice public speaking skills, said Hoy,  “I’m grateful for Ms. Flarend, Bellwood Antis SD and her guidance in this process. I’m so proud of our students and look forward to state competition.”

According to the regional coordinator Alice Flarend, more than 160 students competed from sixteen middle and high schools in the area. Any student grade 7-12 may compete as long as they are working under the direction of the school’s PJAS sponsor.

Students designed, conducted and finally presented a maximum ten minute presentation on their research project.

“The experiment was the fun part – osmosis using eggs” said Jacey Whitcomb, “I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to present in front of a group of strangers, but I did, and I received 2nd award.”

All PJAS first place winners move on to the State Competition at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, which will be held May 15 – 17, 2016. Approximately 3,000 of the best and brightest science students from Pennsylvania’s thirteen separate PJAS regions descend upon State College each May to present their research.