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Science competition draws interest from Baldwin High student volunteers

By Laura Van Wert
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

Exposing 70-some Baldwin High School student volunteers to the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition on Feb. 2 could result in more Baldwin-Whitehall participation in the future.

“I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the students to see what science is all about,” said Rachel Neil, a science teacher at Baldwin High School, who volunteered the building and facilities for the competition. “So many of them were so impressed. It's very encouraging.”

About 660 students from Allegheny and Westmoreland counties participated in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition on Feb. 2 at Baldwin High School.

While about 70 Baldwin High School students volunteered on the day of the competition, only one student, Victoria Schmotzer, a junior and student representative to the school board, presented a project.

The lack of participation from Baldwin students could be because many of them are involved in other extracurricular activities, Neil said.

Neil said more students might participate next year.

“That's definitely a big hope,” she said. “I think our program is outstanding.”

The school board is trying to enhance the science and math offerings.

Three to four judges listened to about 18 student presentations in each classroom, Neil said.

“They're all over the place,” Neil said. “They literally took over this building.”

Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at



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