Three students honored at VA Junior Academy of Science


Screenshot By Oziel Valdez

Screenshot from the VJAS Awards Ceremony. The ceremony was livestreamed through YouTube.

 Each year, the Virginia Junior Academy of Science (VJAS) holds a research competition for high school students for their work in areas like engineering and environmental science. Students submit research papers to judges who follow a rubric and then have an in-person session to discuss their research. Due to the spread of COVID-19, the competition was altered to fit new guidelines. Students would now only receive feedback based on their essays. 

From Harrisonburg, the following students submitted essays that were in contention for awards: 

  • Henry Hermes (11) for Studying the Lift/Drag Ratios of Experimental World War 2 Aircraft
  • George Shirkey (12) for Effects of Mooring Systems on Wave Energy Converter Efficiency
  • Jade McLeod (12) for The Comparative Stab Resistance of Different Chainmail Weaves
  • Jack Hotchkiss (12) and Jacob Seefried (12) for United Sound Rhythm Assistant
  • Stella Alexiou (11) and Thomas Shulgan (11) for Engineering a Sustainable Source of Fuel for the Nassaruni Academy for Massari Girls
  • Mira Yoder (12) for her work A Computer Vision Application to Identify Historic Buildings in Downtown Harrisonburg
  • Jaylen Smith (12) and Ethan Swift (12) for Reducing Lithium-Ion Battery Fade in Phones
  • Holly Bill (11) & Nathan Henderson (11) for Comparison of Caloric Values of the Genus Castanea Related to its impact on the Eastern Forest in the United States
  • Sarah Deloney (12) for Microfossils in Mammoth and Mastodon Dental Plaques as an Indicator of Diet

The results regarding the research essays were announced both in a PDF and through a YouTube livestream. From the entries from HHS, three students were recognized for their research essays. The first student was senior Sarah Deloney, who won first place in one of the the Earth and Environmental Science branches. The other two students were juniors Stella Alexiou and Thomas Shulgan, who received honorable mentions in one of the Engineering branches.  

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