Science Club, high school prepare to host PJAS science fair


Evelyn Esek

Baldwin High School serves the Baldwin, Whitehall, and Baldwin Township communities.

Ava Bell, Staff Writer

About 470 students from 50 high schools will participate in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition at Baldwin High School on Saturday.

The schools are from Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. The event runs from 7 a.m. through late afternoon.

Science teacher Rachel Neil has led preparations for the event.

“Mr. Tietz and myself are organizing it, but we have Science Club officers and Science Club students who have an interest in science to try and help us get things going,” Neil said. 

There are about 70 student volunteers helping during the competition.

“They have done a lot to make this event a success,” Neil said.

Baldwin has two students presenting in the competition. Seniors Sam Petrovich and Grace Toman, who are members of the Science Club, will be competing. 

“Sam wanted to focus his (presentation) on more of a botany type topic and Grace is more of a chemistry type topic,” Neil said.

Neil said the students participating should be driven to want to do the work and the research. 

“You’re basically in a competition with yourself,” Neil said. “It is possible that every kid in that unit can get first place.”

Neil likes that the students participating are able to get critiqued by professionals who can prepare students for future experiences with college.

“It is really neat to see the variety of presentations and the variety of interests, and those who are presenting get feedback from professionals. We have people who are coming in from the (science) field to judge,” Neil said.

Spectators and families are able to spend time on the second floor while the first and third floors are being used for the presentations. The Baldwin Bean will be open to those spectators, selling refreshments while raising money for the Baldwin Special Olympics and Mini-THON.