Saint Joseph High School winners in PA Junior Academy of Science


Image Courtesy St. Joseph High School

Natrona Heights, Pa. – Students at Saint Joseph High School recently participated in the PJAS, (Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science) 83rd annual competition at the Penn State University in State College on May 14 and 15, 2017.

Students participating in this event must win the regional event in Pittsburgh before moving on to the state event. Participating students are required to take a science research class to enter the competition. A total of 20 students participated at the beginning but only 11 moved on to state finals.

Science teacher Mrs. Greco leads the way and has built up the science research program offering guidance and support to the students in the science competitions. Mrs. Greco has been with St. Joseph HS since 2001.

Projects included:

Caroline Maltese – Caroline worked with Trichloron, the active ingredient in the insecticide used in the aerial treatment of zika-carrying mosquitoes. She found that the nervous system of Daphnia magna, Artemia salina and Danio rerio embryos were negatively effected by the presence of the chemical and may lead to a detrimental impact on aquatic ecosystems, causing reproductive difficulties in the aquatic organisms.

Spencer Brackett – Spencer strove to achieve a filtration system that could effectively filter out the two most common aqueous pollutants found in Syrian waterways. With the most gracious help of personnel from Duquesne University, he was able to carry out this experiment, and learned through it, that he would be very interested in pursuing science as a career.

Ava Swanson – The poultry hatching industry currently uses formalin to disinfect egg shells that come from the broiler breeder houses and into the hatchers. Soon, industries will not be permitted to use formalin so Ava tested alternative solutions: glutaraldehyde, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar.

Student Efforts:
Perfect Score – Caroline Maltese ’17, Spencer Brackett ’20, Ava Swanson ’20, and Caroline Maltese ’17 also received the Ecology Director’s Award.
First Place – Sophia Maltese ’17, Julianna Nichols ’17, Josh Maltese ’20, Thomas Preston ’19
Second Place – Julia Singleton ’19, Tyler Fontana ’20, Joseph Godinez ’20
Third Place – Skylar Giebel ’20

Additional Participants:

Caroline Maltese ’17 is the daughter of Dan and Jennifer Maltese of Cheswick, PA and attend St. Victor’s Parish in Bairdford, PA
Spencer Brackett ’20 is the son of Timothy and Karen Brackett and attend St. Christopher on the Lake Parish in Prospect, PA
Ava Swanson ’20 is the daughter of Renae Swanson and attends St. Joseph Parish in Cabot, PA
Sophia Maltese ’17 is the daughter of Dan and Jennifer Maltese and attend St. Victor’s Parish in Bairdford, PA
Julianna Nichols ’17 is the daughter of Marie Nichols and attends St. Bartholomew Parish in Pittsburgh, PA
Josh Maltese ’20 is the son of Dan and Jennifer Maltese and attend St. Victor’s Parish in Bairdford, PA
Thomas Preston ’19 is the son of Michael and Donna Preston and attend St. Paul’s Parish in Butler, PA
Julia Singleton ’19 is the daughter of Christopher and Kristen Singleton and attend St. Paul’s Parish in Butler, PA
Tyler Fontana ’20 is the son of Bernie and Kristin Fontana and attend Mount St. Peter Parish in New Kensingtonn, PA
Joseph Godinez ’20 is the son of Lucas and Danielle Godinez and attend St. Victor’s Parish in Bairdford, PA
Skylar Giebel ’20 is the daughter of Bruce and Melissa Geibel and attend St. Wendelin Parish in Butler, PA

Congratulations on a job well done to the science students at St. Joseph High School, Natrona Heights.