Three Ambridge Junior High School students were recently awarded at the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair, which is celebrating its 75th year of open competition.
Jaida Syrek was the Sponsor Award winner in the Environmental Division. Sydney LaCosa and Allie Ruprecht were Honorable Mention winners in the Chemistry Division. All three are honors students at the junior high.
The competition of research projects in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering took place March 28 and the awards ceremony on March 29 at Heinz Field. Students in grades 6-12 participated from 23 counties in western Pennsylvania, three counties in West Virginia and Garrett County in Maryland.
Don Ayers, eighth-grade Integrated Science and Honors Teacher, said more than 800 of the 1,100 students participating were seventh- and eighth-graders. The competition is open to students from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland.
Jaida and Allie were also chosen for the AAUW American Association of University Women "Girl Recognition Night" on April 17 at the Community College of Beaver County.
"Girls Recognition Night" aims to encourage middle school girls to enroll in math and science courses in high school and beyond that can lead to careers in the non-traditional STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and math.
Science and math teachers in Beaver County are encouraged to select two female students to be recognized. Glenn Freed, who teaches math, nominated Jaida. Ayers, who teaches science, nominated Allie.
AAUW, a national organization with 100,000 members, has long advocated gender equity in education. Many studies show that girls who have displayed great ability in science and math begin to lose interest as they reach the middle school age.
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