Fifty-nine MMI students presented during the 58th annual Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) Regional II competition at Wilkes University.

Thirty-six of those students earned first awards and will advance to the PJAS State Competition, which will be held May 19-21 at Penn State’s University Park campus.

Additionally, MMI received 23 second awards and one third award.

Seven students received special awards during the competition. Eighth grader Jakob Narrow was awarded the Junior High Excellency Award in Ecology, and freshman Thomas Mayernik received the Junior High Excellency Award in Microbiology. Sophomore Darren Zheng won the Senior High Excellency Award in Chemistry, junior Kai Mele, was awarded the Senior High Excellency Award in Microbiology, and senior Morgan Long received the Senior High Excellency Award in Computer Programming and an Advisory Board Award of $500. Ella Urosevich was awarded a fellowship to the Geisinger School of Medicine.

Seven MMI students earned first awards and received a perfect score in the competition. The students are: seventh grader Kathryn Sissick; sophomores Marcus Danchision, Katherine Lewandowski, and Darren Zheng; junior Kai Mele; and seniors Alexander Kline and Morgan Long.

Twenty-nine additional students also earned first awards in the competition. They are: seventh grader Abigail Sparich; eighth graders Annabel Dobash, Brenna Eckhart, Jillian McGeehin, Manal Muhammad, and Jakob Narrow; freshmen Lindsay Horvat, Thomas Mayernik, Amelia Minzola, Dustin Paul, and Grace Warner; sophomores Louis DeAngelo, Natalie Graham, Aaron Haber, Noah Long, Hiba Muhammad, Jacqueline Snyder, Samantha Sparich, Ella Urosevich, and Alexandra Young; juniors David Antolick and Benjamin Putnam; and seniors Elizabeth Borchick, Nicholas Carrato, Daniel DeMelfi, Wesley Guarneri, Jessica McClellan, Coleman Smith, and Zachary Young.

MMI’s second award winners are: seventh grader Diane Arias-Tejeda; eighth grader Kate Malay; freshmen Olivia Bartholomew, Rachael Betz, Connor Spencer, Kennedy Tavaris, Daniella Vasquez, and Kaylee Witner; sophomores Morgan Allen, Kimberly Amentler, Julie Amentler, McKenna Gallagher, Morgan Hosier, James Kelly, Sydney Kohl, Robert Rinaldi, Emily Ryan, Colin Williams, Darren Zheng, and Alexis Zola; juniors Emily Ankiewicz and Hugh Soltau; and senior Brian Payne.

Freshman Viva Barrett earned a third award in the competition.

Ten MMI seniors were recognized for perseverance, with all participating in PJAS for three or more years.

Students in grades 7-12 are invited yearly to participate in one of the PJAS Regional competitions conducted within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To complete in a PJAS Regional competition, students conduct a scientific research project in one of the 12 Scientific Categories of Research identified by PJAS and then orally present that research to a team of judges during the Regional competition.

MMI students were among 600 competitors from throughout Region II, which includes schools in Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Lackawanna, Wyoming, Susquehanna and Wayne counties.


CAPTION: Fifty-nine MMI students presented during the 58th annual Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) Regional II competition at Wilkes University. Pictured are, first row, from left: Amanda Shonk (Advisor), Susan Moyer (Advisor), Sydney Kohl, Julie Amentler, Hiba Muhammad, Kathryn Lewandowski, Samantha Sparich, Abigail Sparich, Emily Ryan, Manal Muhammad, Diane Arias-Tejada, and Melissa McHale (Advisor). Second row: Emily Ankiewicz, Brenna Eckhart, Ella Urosevich, Kimberly Amentler, Jacqueline Snyder, Elizabeth Borchick, Alexandra Young, Kathryn Sissick, Amelia Minzola, Lindsay Horvat, Grace Warner, and Viva Barrett. Third row: McKenna Gallagher, Annabel Dobash, Jillian McGeehin, Daniella Vasquez, Kaylee Witner, Kate Malay, Natalie Graham, Morgan Hosier, Morgan Allen, Olivia Bartholomew, Rachael Betz, and Kennedy Tavaris. Fourth row: Michael Mele (Advisor), Darren Zheng, Colin Williams, Robert Rinaldi, Thomas Mayernik, Connor Spencer, Dustin Paul, Jakob Narrow, Alexander Kline, and Nicholas Carrato. Fifth row: James Kelly, Coleman Smith, Zachary Young, Noah Long, Daniel DeMelfi, Wesley Guarneri, Benjamin Putnam, Marcus Danchison, and Morgan Long. Sixth row: Aaron Haber, Hugh Soltau, Kai Mele, David Antolick, Louis DeAngelo and Mr. Justin Vincent (Advisor). Absent from Photo: Alexis Zola, Jessica McClellan, and Brian Payne.