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Feb. 15, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU hosts Pa. Junior Academy of Science

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Hundreds of junior high and high school students with an interest in science will visit Slippery Rock University Feb. 23 for the 56th Regional IX Meeting of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. The students will compete for more than $12,000 in scholarships and prizes.

SRU has hosted the event for the past 16 years.

"It is always very gratifying for me to see more than 400 junior high and senior high students presenting the results of their own science research projects," said William Sigmund, SRU professor of biology and campus coordinator for the meeting.

Following a full day of presentations in a variety of campus buildings, the annual 6 p.m. awards ceremony will be in the Smith Student Center Ballroom.

The budding scientists will have dinner at 4 p.m. in Boozel Dining Hall. An 11 a.m., pre-event lunch for project judges will be in Weisenfluh Dining Hall.

SRU will again offer a $12,000, four-year, SRU scholarship to the top senior and the top junior award recipients.

Top presenters in each discipline also earn cash awards or gift certificates from the Region IX committee or other program sponsors, including SRU's mathematics and chemistry departments, which present $100 awards for the top senior high student and junior high student presentations in their respective disciplines; SRU's biology department offers a $100 award for the top senior high student and junior high student presentations in any biological field and a $200 mentor award to the winning student's teacher at the senior and junior high level for the purchase of science supplies at their school.

"The opportunity to have these high school and junior high students who are interested in math and science on our campus is an opportunity not only to foster this interest in the sciences, but also to familiarize these students with SRU and perhaps have an influence on their future college choice," Sigmund said.

Judges include college professors, high school teachers, business and medical professionals and college students. Three judges evaluate the project. They have eight-to-10 minutes to hear from the student presenter, before asking questions. "First Place" winners at the regional meeting earn the right to participate at the state competition in May.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.