Science students from DuBois Central Catholic High School competed at the 81st Annual Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science State Competition held at University Park, State College, on May 18, and returned with several state-wide place winners. Of the 1,200 high school students competing at Penn State, approximately 5% of competitors earned perfect scores and three were DCC students.
Students advancing to the PJAS state level at PSU reached the state competition based on their regional scores. Student experiments were conducted on a specific topic based on one of the major branches of science. A multi-media presentation was another requirement of the PJAS for each science participant.
Three DCC science students – sophomores Macey Hanes and Trisha Gupta and junior Michael Zaffuto – each earned not only first awards at states but also each received a perfect score of 5.0 for their projects.
DCC senior Sabrena Starr, freshman Meghan Graeca and sophomore Gabby Caruso received first awards for their presentations as well. A first award is given to students who receive a 4.0 to a 4.99. Starr earned a 4.0, Graeca earned a 4.88 and Caruso earned a 4.61. Sophomore Jordan Frank received a second award for her state presentation with a score of 3.4.
Junior Michael Zaffuto received two additional awards and honors. After completing two levels of interviews with the head officials at University Park, he was awarded an $8,000 scholarship from Penn State for his interest in food science. Zaffuto also received the “Director’s Award” in the amount of $150 for his outstanding multi-media presentation.
According to DuBois Central Catholic science teachers Renee Gressler and Jenn Graeca, “The students’ over-all success was due to their determination, diligence in collecting data, and their ability to present on a professional level.” Both add, “DCC students were well-prepared for this event and deserve all the accolades they received.”
Central’s over-all successes at the state PJAS level were certainly outstanding for this group of science-loving students.