MMI students earn PJAS awards


(Freeland, PA – March 20, 2014) – Students at MMI Preparatory School recently earned awards during the regional Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition held at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, with awards presented afterward at a dinner ceremony at the Genetti Best Western Hotel and Conference Center in Wilkes-Barre.

During the competition, seventh- to 12th-grade students from 34 districts presented research from their experiments in an array of scientific categories. This was the first year Wilkes University hosted the annual competition.

The Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition is designed to stimulate and promote interest in science through the development of research investigations. The competition is open to all students in grades seven to 12 who wish to participate. Students conduct scientific research in one of the 12 scientific categories of research. Students present their findings to a panel of judges at the regional competition. Students who received a first-place award will move on to the state competition held in May at the Pennsylvania State University in State College.

MMI students who received first-place awards were: Andrew Alday, son of Senen Alday and Milagros Azcueta-Alday, Mountaintop; Angelica Alday, daughter of Senen Alday and Milagros Azcueta-Alday, Mountaintop; Lauren Babinetz, daughter of Michael and Patricia Babinetz, Jim Thorpe; Emily Bogansky, daughter of David Bogansky, Hazle Township, and Katherine Balderston, Hazle Township; Niklas Byriel, son of Julia Byriel, Mountaintop, and the late Kim Byriel; Anirban Chowdhury, son of Bhaskar and Saumitri Chowdhury, Hazle Township; Paige Darrow, daughter of John and Gertie Darrow, Hazleton; Elijah Dove, son of Eric and Susan Dove, Mountaintop; Ryan Eschenbach, son of David and Maureen Eschenbach, Drums; Annika Fisk, who won two first-place awards, daughter of Douglas Fisk, Conyngham, and Sandra Fisk, Conyngham; Tristan Gibbons, son of Russell and Edna Gibbons, Mountaintop; Alexander Haber, son of John and Cathryn Haber, Tresckow; Shaelyn Heft, daughter of Norman and Judy Heft, Lehighton; Allison Hohn, daughter of Darren and Karin Hohn, Mountaintop; Victoria Kline, daughter of John and June Kline, Mountaintop; Chava Kornblatt, daughter of Joseph and Georgia Kornblatt, Kingston; Garrett Kost, son of Joseph and Natalie Kost, Freeland; Gabriella Kupsho, who earned a perfect score, daughter of Robert and Diane Kupsho, Drums; Morgan Long, son of David and Theresa Long, Drums; Megan Marchetti, daughter of David and Andrea Marchetti, Freeland; Joseph Marushin, son of John and Tammy Marushin, Sugarloaf; Emily Morrison, daughter of Michael and Maria Morrison, Sugarloaf; Sarah Moyer, daughter of Robert and Susan Moyer, Bowmanstown; Joshua Narrow, son of Howard and Marie Narrow, Hazleton; Kisan Patel, son of Dilipkumar and Minaben Patel, Drums; Yusuf Qadri, son of Syed and Saffiyah Qadri, Drums; Erin Sari, daughter of Izzet and Mumine Sari, Sugarloaf; Emily Seratch, daughter of Frank and Sarah Seratch, Hazleton; Samuel Sessock, son of Jennifer and James Denion, Freeland, and the late John Sessock; Claire Sheen, who earned a perfect score, daughter of Kwangsup and Chaeyun Sheen, Mountaintop; Bailey Slusser, daughter of Christopher Slusser, Sugarloaf, and Amy St. Pierre, Sugarloaf; Coleman Smith, son of Keith and Laura Smith, White Haven; Julia Snyder, daughter of Christopher and Jill Snyder, Sugarloaf; Jay Solgama, son of Paresh and Arti Solgama, Mountaintop; and Nicholas Young, son of Christian and Nicole Young, Freeland.

Students receiving second-place awards were: Gabriellia Becker, daughter of Susan Becker, Lake Harmony; Gabriella DeMelfi, daughter of Daniel and Esme DeMelfi, Hazleton; Kelsy Donaldson, daughter of Dennis and Kathy Donaldson, White Haven; Katie Eschenbach, daughter of David and Maureen Eschenbach, Drums; Alyssa Famalette, daughter of Anthony and Joann Famalette, Freeland; Devon Faul, son of Toby and Shawna Faul, Freeland; Soprina Guarneri, daughter of Vincent and Sop Guarneri, Wilkes-Barre; Anna Haber, daughter of John and Cathryn Haber, Tresckow; Sukanya Kansara, daughter of Sanjay and Usha Kansara, Drums; Sydney Karpowich, daughter of Donald Karpowich and Tracy Gallagher, Sugarloaf; Eleanor Maduro, daughter of Joseph and PollyAnn Maduro, Freeland; Evan Dryfoos, son of Llewellyn and Maura Dryfoos, Sugarloaf; Abigail Paul, daughter of Rustin and Cynthia Paul, Albrightsville; Lois Polashenski, daughter of Robert and Kathleen Polashenski, Freeland; Jessica Smith, daughter of Jonathan Smith and Beatrice Russo-Smith, White Haven; and Jonathan Smith, son of Jonathan Smith and Beatrice Russo-Smith, White Haven.

Ali Aijaz, son of Fakhruddin and Naghma Aijaz, Mountaintop, received third place.

Paige Darrow, daughter of John and Gertie Darrow, Hazleton, and Alexander Haber, son of John and Cathryn Haber, Tresckow, received Perseverance Awards.


CAPTION: MMI students who earned awards during the regional Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition include, first row, from left: Megan Marchetti, Sarah Moyer, Victoria Kline, Alyssa Famelette, Gabriella DeMelfi, Bailey Slusser, Sydney Karpowich, Chava Kornblatt, Julia Snyder, Gabriella Kupsho, Abigail Paul, Erin Sari and Lois Polashenski. Second row: Kelsy Donaldson, Soprina Guarneri, Jessica Smith, Katie Eschenbach, Emily Bogansky, Shaelyn Heft, Paige Darrow, Lauren Babinetz, Angelica Alday, Claire Sheen, Annika Fisk, Emily Seratch, Eleanor Maduro, Emily Morrison, Gabriellia Becker and faculty member Mary-Lee Hood. Third row: Anirban Chowdhury, Evan Dryfoos, Sam Sessock, Nicholas Young, Jonathan Smith, Morgan Long, Coleman Smith, Tristan Gibbons, Jay Solgama, Andrew Alday and faculty members Susan Moyer and Laura Petro. Back row: Joshua Narrow, Niklas Byriel, Ryan Eschenbach, Ali Aijaz, Garrett Kost, Elijah Dove, Devon Faul, Syed Yusuf Qadri, Joseph Marushin and faculty members Michael Mele and Justin Vincent.