APS News Release

APS Students Excelled at the Virginia Junior Academy of Science (VJAS) Research Symposium

APS students excelled at the 2019 annual Virginia Junior Academy of Science (VJAS) Research Symposium, which was held from May 21-23 at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Approximately 150 APS students attended to present their work to peers and to scientists from around the state.

The following APS students were recognized at the awards ceremony. A complete list of awardees, as well as detailed descriptions of special awards, can be found at vjas.org.

  • Botany: Noah Portner, W-L (2nd place)
  • Chemical Sciences A: Dhruva Barua, Jefferson (Honorable Mention) and Charlotte Cunningham, Swanson (Honorable Mention)
  • Chemical Sciences B: Sophia Reyes, Swanson (Honorable Mention)
  • Chemistry: Yiming Chen, Yorktown (Honorable Mention)
  • Ecology and Earth Sciences A: Natalie Cecil & Grace Varrieur, Swanson (2nd place); Ava Fischer, Jefferson (3rd place); Anya Dutta, Jefferson (Honorable Mention) and Cassie Elsberg & Rebecca Estevao, Swanson (Honorable Mention)
  • Ecology and Earth Sciences B: Estee Ruiz, Jefferson (2nd place) and Kritika Rai, Jefferson (Honorable Mention)
  • Engineering A: John Evans, Yorktown (Honorable Mention)
  • Engineering B: Dilin Williams, W-L (Honorable Mention)
  • Engineering and Technology A: Leonardo Fall, Swanson (2nd place); Ella McNally, Jefferson (Honorable Mention) and Lily Allen & Ellie Potts, Swanson (Honorable Mention)
  • Engineering and Technology B: Raphael Sanchez, Jefferson (1st place)
  • Earth and Environmental Science A:  William Bernhardt & Haylee Feist, Yorktown (Honorable Mention)
  • Earth and Environmental Science C:  James Licato, W-L (1st place) and Katherine Little, Yorktown (Honorable Mention)
  • Mathematics: Patterns and Relationships: Maya Jones, Jefferson (3rd place)
  • Mathematics: Theoretical and Modeling: Emma Berver, W-L (Honorable Mention)
  • Microbiology and Cell Biology B: Hamna Shafiq, W-L (2nd place)
  • Physical Science and Astronomy: Farouk Boudjemaa & Cameron Gleaton, Swanson (2nd place); Juliet Geers, Jefferson (Honorable Mention) and Isla Carlson, Gunston (Honorable Mention)
  • Plant Sciences and Microbiology: Charlotte Haldeman Papacosma, Gunston (1st place); Ellie Rowland, Jefferson (2nd place); Aria Merrill, Jefferson (3rd place) and Benjamin Portner, Williamsburg (Honorable Mention)
  • Psychology A: Naomi Abramowicz & Rachel Brill, W-L (1st place)

VJAS also has a Special Awards section. The following APS students were recognized for these honors:

  • Dr. and Mrs. Preston H. Leake Award in in Applied Chemistry: Natalie Aramendia, W-L
  • Gamma Sigma Delta Award: Mahia Rahman and Belen Tesfaye, W-L
  • Bethel High School $1,000 Scholarship: James Licato, W-L
  • Frances and Sydney Lewis $5,000 Environmental Scholarship: James Licato, W-L
  • The VAS Best of Symposium Research Award: James Licato, W-L
  • Ertle Thompson Memorial Endowment Award: James Licato, W-L

Noah Portner (W-L) will be serving as Co-Editor in Chief on the VJAS Student Officer Committee for the 2019-20 school year.

The following APS students were also selected for the honor of presenting to the Virginia Academy of Sciences (VAS):

  • Raphael Sanchez, Jefferson
  • Charlotte Haldeman Papacosma, Gunston
  • James Licato, W-L
  • Naomi Abramowicz and Rachel Brill, W-L

In addition, the following APS science teachers were also recognized for their work with VJAS:

  • Dr. R. Dean Decker Honorarium Award: Mary Fretts, W-L
  • Franklin D. Kizer Distinguished Service Award: Dawn McCoart, W-L
  • Franklin D. Kizer Science Teacher of Tomorrow Award: Kristin Gogal, Swanson