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Junior Brianna Smith Earns Perfect Score at PJAS Competition

CHS PJAS Cohort One of 10 CHS students to participate in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) regionals at Souderton this past weekend, junior Brianna Smith won first with a perfect score for her microbiology project “Apple Cider Vinegar & Benzoyl Peroxide: Mixing It Up.” In the project, Smith aimed to create a more natural acne treatment and treated various concentrations of apple cider vinegar with lower doses of Benzoyl Peroxide against bacteria-causing acne to show effectiveness in home remedy treatments. Her perfect score also netted her a $30 Merck Award.

More than 200 students from 16 high schools and middle schools participated in the competition in 15 different categories, including behavioral psychology, biology, biochemistry, botany, chemistry, computer science, Earth and space, ecology, engineering, mathematics, microbiology, physics and zoology.

Aside from Smith, freshmen Joelle Williams (Biology / Exploring Phototaxis, Geotaxis and Chemotaxis of Drosophila!); sophomore Ella Hartwell (Ecology / The Effect of Microplastic on Algae Growth); junior Grace Darling (Microbiology / The Effect of Different Bleach Dilutions on E. Coli Bacteria); and Isabelle Beatus (Microbiology / The Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment) won first place honors.

Freshmen Rohan McInneshin (Chemistry / Ruining Rust: Which Polish Prevents Rust Most Effectively?); Anna Karan (Biology / How do insulin pills compare to insulin IV injections?); Natalie Doebley (Physics / How Does the Surface Affect the Traits of a Blood Spatter?); sophomore Lisa Lam (Biochemistry / Analyzing Chemical Content from Nectar for Pollination Array); and junior Kamaria Green (Microbiology / Hurting the Helix: Effects of UV on Growth and DNA Damage) each took second.  

Smith, Williams, Hartwell, Darling and Beatus qualified for May’s PJAS State competition at Penn State, where they will present their projects and compete against students from across the commonwealth.

PJAS is a statewide organization of junior and senior high school students designed to stimulate and promote interest in science among its members through the development of research projects and investigations. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is divided into 12 PJAS regions. Each PJAS region consists of two or more counties. Every PJAS region has one or more directors and a treasurer who oversee the operation of the region. PJAS also has a state director, state secretary and two state treasurers, as well as Judging, Safety, Technicians and Awards committees.

IDs (left to right): Rohan McInneshin, Ella Hartwell, Anna Karan, Joelle  Williams,

Natalie Doebley, Lisa Lam, Grace Darling, Isabelle Beatus. Not pictured: Kamaria Green and Brianna Smith.