The Student News Site of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

Students prepare for PJAS

Roman McNichols’ first model of his “hill” for PJAS.

SCH students in honors physics and chemistry classes are gearing up for the upcoming PJAS (Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science) competitions this February at Snyder Middle School in Bensalem. Every year, students choose a project of interest, then spend many hours on background research to become relative experts in their fields. They then create detailed procedures of what they will be testing and use their results to draw a conclusion. The background research, experimental design, data, and conclusion are compiled into a 10 minute presentation that the students give to judges to score their work.

There are two rounds of PJAS,  regional and states; the regional competition is held at many locations around Pennsylvania, but SCH typically competes at Snyder Middle School in Bensalem. Students are sorted into different rooms with different judges; judges grade mainly on presentational skills and ability to clearly explain your project. The state competition is very similar to the regional, with scoring and presenting, but the major difference is that PJAS becomes a fun three-day trip with friends, and participants get to eat good Penn State ice cream.

Last May, Roman McNichols, class of 2026, received a perfect score in the state competition. From his words, all his project did was “roll a ball down the hill.” Now, it was certainly more complicated than that, dealing with cycloids and brachistochrones, but at its core, it held a simple premise. His excellent score came from his incredible presenting ability, clearly conveying to the judges how everything in his project works. Most people in his judging room say that he sounded confident, clear, concise, and intelligent. 

So, an incredibly complex project might not be the best way to get a good score. The most important part is to pick something that you both enjoy and understand. PJAS offers a rare experience in the classroom: you get to choose what you learn for practically an entire month, so all students involved should be encouraged to find something they are truly passionate about.

To everyone involved in PJAS, good luck and have fun!

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Campus Lantern

Your donation will support the student journalists of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Patrick Gaghan '25
Patrick Gaghan '25, Staff Writer
Patrick Gaghan is currently a junior at SCH academy. He is often seen acting on stage for Players or singing for Hilltones
Donate to The Campus Lantern

Comments (0)

All The Campus Lantern Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *