Ellis students compete for PJAS, the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, by presenting a project before judges. As a sophomore, this will be my fourth year participating. In both 8th and 9th grade, I received the first place at the regional competition, so I was able to present my project again at the state competition, which is held at Penn State in May.

Most students would agree that presenting is stressful. Lauren Jasper (sophomore) explained although her project took a lot of work, participating in PJAS was a good experience. Because of a problem with her software, she had to postpone her project until next year. For Becca Rust (sophomore), this will be her 3rd year participating in PJAS. She said, “presenting is nerve wracking but once I get up there I don’t really have to even think about what I’m saying since I’ve practiced my speech so many times.” Being prepared to present contributed to her receiving the first place. She enjoyed going to states because she was “surrounded by other people who are into science and have really interesting projects.” Although you may need to study for finals while at Penn State, the experience is worthwhile. Even if you do not receive a first at the regional competition, you can become a technician and try again next year.