Students off to a great start in spring science competitions

March 18, 2014

This weekend, Grace Niewijk took first place overall in the regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) Program, one of the toughest juried science competitions that exists for students. She wrote an 40-page paper on her original research project, called “Creation of a Novel Absorbent Antimicrobial Bandage from Slime of the Pacific Hagfish for Use on Burns and Wounds.” Grace had to summarize her research in a formal 10-minute PowerPoint, and then orally defend her work when questioned by high-level judges. Later this month, she will represent the region on an all-expenses paid trip to present at nationals in Washington D.C. for four days.

We have three AP Biology students who have advanced to the semifinals after taking the USA Biology Olympiad exam (USABO) a few weeks ago—the greatest number of students OPRF has had advance in one year. Out 7,766 students who took this exam across the nation, 624 achieved the requisite score of 28.5 out of 50 to become a finalist. (The highest score in the nation was a 43.) Erin Angelini, Nora Watkins, and Colin Ford will take the USABO semifinal exam next month. The top 20 at this next round go on to nationals. This exam is extremely hard and covers the entire spectrum of biology.