Middle and High Schoolers to Swarm Duquesne for Science Competition

Hundreds of middle- and high-school students from Allegheny and Westmoreland counties will present work they've conducted since the beginning of the school year at the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) Region 7 competition on Saturday, Feb. 6.

The event, again hosted by Duquesne University and its Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, will bring 800 7th- through 12th-graders to campus, where a battery of 300 judges and volunteers, as well as supportive family members, will gather from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The mammoth event introduces students from more than 85 private and public schools to the excitement of discovery and the possibility of scholarships and careers in science-related fields, said Dr. Jeffrey Evanseck, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who is the coordinator for the competition.

Students had opportunity to work in the categories of behavioral psychology, biology, biochemistry, botany, chemistry, computer science, Earth and space, ecology, engineering, mathematics, microbiology and physics.

"Everyone around the world can and will benefit from the new innovations these students are currently working on," said Susan Morgan, director of PJAS Region 7. "The need for student participation in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields is great within our region. Jobs are plentiful due to the many hospitals, and robotic and tech companies right here in Pittsburgh. People gain the scientific skills needed to fill those jobs by participating in these activities."

Project presentations, though only for the eyes of the judges, will start at 8:30 for middle school students and culminate with an awards ceremony at 1:15 p.m. in the Duquesne Union Ballroom. The afternoon presentations will begin at 1 p.m. and end with the awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m., again in the Ballroom on the fourth floor of the Union.

The first-award winners from Region 7 will participate, along with the winners in a dozen other PJAS regions, in the state competition in May.

For more information and the full competition agencies, visit www.pjaswi.net/region7.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.