SRU to host Junior Academy of Science regional meeting


Beakers and test tubes

Feb. 12, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - More than 540 aspiring junior and senior high school scientists will compete for nearly $25,000 in Slippery Rock University scholarships when the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science stages its 62nd Annual Region IX meeting Feb. 23. It is the 22nd consecutive year the event has been hosted by SRU.

"This year's event will see the largest number of participating students ever in the more than two decades that we've hosted the event," said William Sigmund, SRU professor of biology. "Despite the challenges provided by that huge number, as a scientist, I am thrilled that we have so many young people interested in the sciences, and that we can encourage scientific research by having each one come to SRU and present the results of their investigations in math and science.

"This is more than your ordinary science fair, as each student presents their research results as an oral presentation like they would at a scientific conference. We also bring many dedicated teacher-sponsors to our campus so we can show them the tremendous opportunities to study science at SRU."

The University is again offering a $12,000 scholarship ($3,000 per year for four years) to attend SRU to the top senior and top junior award winners. Additionally, SRU's Mathematics Department will present $100 awards for the top senior high student and junior high student math presentations; the Chemistry Department will present a single $100 award to the overall top chemistry presentation; and the Biology Department will provide a $100 award for the top senior high student and junior high student presentation in any biological field, plus a $200 Mentor Award to both the winning student's teacher-sponsors for the purchase of science supplies at their home school.

Top presenters in each discipline also earn cash awards or gift certificates from the Region IX committee and other program sponsors.

Brad Wilson, SRU associate provost for transformational experiences, will present the welcome address at the 11 a.m. judges luncheon in Weisenfluh Dining Hall.

SRU President William Behre will address the students and teacher-sponsors at a 6 p.m. awards ceremony in the Smith Student Center Ballroom.

Nearly 200 judges, including SRU and high school faculty, professionals and SRU students, participate in the program, spending 8-10 minutes reviewing individual student works and asking questions about the project before rendering a final ranking.

Participants who receive a "First Place" ranking will have the opportunity to participate in the state competition that will take place at Penn State University in May.

The 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," per the PJAS website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |