Jefferson and Mellon Middle School students took top honors at the 87th annual Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition. Students earned seven first places and four second place honors, along with numerous special recognitions. About 600 students from around the Pittsburgh area competed by conducting and presenting experiments in various fields of science including physics, biology, behavioral science, mathematics, and ecology. First place winners will now advance to the state competition at Penn State University.
First place winners were JMS students. Alexander Stefanov (perfect score), Laila Polat, Sally Tan and Jessica Yang as well as Mellon students Lucian Mikush, Atlantic Rajakumar and Ashley Wei. Second place honors went to Mellon students Josh Ghil, Max Kazmierczak, Henry Ellwein and Jessica Li.
Alek Stefanov also received the Director's Award, the American Chemical Society Award for Excellence in Chemistry and Biochemistry, the American Society of Civil Engineering Award, and the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry and Biochemistry for his project "Cleaning Water with Flocculation." Sally Tan, Ashley Wei, Henry Ellwein and Josh Ghil received a Duquesne Medal of Science recognition for their projects. Mellon 8th grade student Felix Yang will have a special judging for his project "The Viability of Magnetism as a Source of Electricity."
Students were coached by middle school gifted coordinator Kathryn Duchin and JMS 7th grade science teacher Ed Petsko.