Students Participate in Regional PJAS Competition/14 Qualify for States

Several Fox Chapel Area students recently won awards at the 82nd Annual Region 7 Meeting of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS). A total of 14 of those students qualified for the state competition.

Fox Chapel Area first place winners were: seniors Anja Schempf and Sreeroopa Som; juniors Rohan Chalasani, Tanvi Meringenti, Ellen Pil, and William Schwartzman; sophomore Sarthak Navjivan; freshmen Sanjana Harish, Ji-Yool Moon, Kathryn Schwartzman, and Gina Wang; eighth graders Rajeev Godse, Anzu Sekikawa, and Ameya Velankar; and seventh grader Anthony Nguyen. The first place winners have qualified for the state PJAS competition which will be held May 15-17, 2016, at Penn State University (Main Campus).

Fox Chapel Area second place winners were: senior Manasa Thada; juniors Austin Fisher, Moira McCormick, and Ayan Sinha; sophomores Tao Sheng and Bridget Wang; freshmen Theresa Heidenreich and Zachary Lakkis; eighth graders Hanna Chen, Serena Fisher, and Christiana Paljug; and seventh graders Catherine Heidenreich and Elizabeth Schwartzman.

The Fox Chapel Area third place winners were freshman Annika Urban and seventh grader Amulya Garimella.

The following Fox Chapel Area High School students received these special awards in addition to their place awards: Anja Schempf, Sreeroopa Som, and Manasa Thada each received Perseverance awards; Rohan Chalasani received a Perfect Score Award, a Provost Award – Duquesne University, and a Carnegie Mellon University Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) Multidisciplinary Award; Austin Fisher won a PJAS Director’s Award in Biology; Tanvi Meringenti won a Western Pennsylvania Chapter for the American Vacuum Society (AVS) Award, a Carnegie Mellon University Energy, Science, Technology & Policy Award, and the Duquesne University Award for Excellence in Physics; Ellen Pil won a PJAS Director’s Award in Physics; William Schwartzman won a PJAS Director’s Award in Earth/Space Science; Ayan Sinha won an American Chemical Society – Pittsburgh Section Award; Sarthak Navjivan won an Innovation Works Award and a Duquesne University Biomedical Engineering Award; Kathryn Schwartzman won a Duquesne University School of Health Sciences Award; and Gina Wang won the Meghan Roe Microbiology Persistence Award.

The following Dorseyville Middle School students received these special awards in addition to their first place awards: Rajeev Godse won a Perfect Score Award and a Duquesne University Award and Anthony Nguyen won an Excellence in Scientific Work Medal of Honor.

The participating students (from several schools from Allegheny and Westmoreland counties) researched their science projects for several months. During the competition, each of the students was required to give an oral presentation on his or her science project in front of a panel of judges. The regional competition was held at Duquesne University February 6.