North Hills Junior, Senior High Students Advance to State Science Competition

Six students win a chance to complete in the upcoming competition at Penn State University, while six others place second in regional meet.

A half-dozen North Hills School District students advanced to the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition after securing top honors at the regional competition Feb. 2 at Baldwin High School.

Six North Hills students earned first-place honors in the regional competition and will advance to compete at the state competition May 12–14 at Pennsylvania State University. Six others placed second in the regional event.

Students designed experiments and were judged on their abilities to conduct and convey the results of their work.

PJAS is a statewide organization of junior- and senior-high school students that aims to stimulate and promote interest in science by developing research projects and investigations.


First-place winners and their projects include:

  • Sophomore Marie McConnell for "What's in a Name?"
  • Sophomore Matthew Plazek for "The Effects of Heavy Metal Ions on Escherichia coli."
  • Sophomore Caroline Snyder for "Are Artificial Nails Less Sanitary than Natural?"
  • Sophomore Sydney Wolff for "The Effects of Visual Subliminal Messaging."
  • Freshman Anna Meyers for "Tetracycline vs. Escherichia coli Biofilms."
  • Eighth-grader Brittani Hagerman for "The Compost Test."

Second-place winners and their projects include:

  • Senior Anna Madrishin for "Another Perk to Chocolate?"
  • Senior Robyn Madrishin for "Environmental Influences on Streptomyces."
  • Senior Claire Shannon for "Nitrogen Concentrations in Grass."
  • Sophomore Kelsey Toplak for "Embodied Cognition and the Lab Coat: Dressing for Success?"
  • Sophomore Joel Zewe for "Conductivity Differences Through a Temperature Gradient."
  • Eighth-grader Brian Fulton for "The Effects of Plants on Soil Erosion."

Anna Madrishin and Robyn Madrishin also earned Perseverance Awards in recognition of their five years of participation in the competition. Anna Meyers also won a Perseverance Award in Microbiology.


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