YHS students display science

Sometime around the turn of the century, Youngsville High School freshmen environmental students competed in the first YHS Science Symposium.

Laura Dorunda, environmental studies teacher, said that the program expanded to include senior physics students and ended up as a cooperative symposium between science and English studies.

Now, projects by students in grades nine, 11 and 12 are graded, and there are a number of tenth-grade projects just because the sophomore students enjoy participating, she said, adding, “We just can’t say no. They really enjoy it.”

The freshman projects are not only graded, but a panel of six staff members will judge the projects, and the top 25 out of 89 will go on to a competition at Allegheny College this week. Dorunda said that there will be about 25 schools represented.

The projects take about one month to prepare, and are as varied as the students’ interests.

For Friday’s event, one student rigged a solar panel to power a stereo, another had information about ferrets, and brought two ferrets in as a part of the display.

Four seniors Kris Wilcox, Stone Sivak, Jacob Marino and Tristan Anderson worked together on a display about the relative nutrition of brown versus white eggs (they are nearly identical).

Chandler Flinn’s demonstration of sluicing for gold, held in the school courtyard drew a lot of interest, especially when he showed some gold he had found. To date, “maybe 50 bucks worth,” he said, he had taken out of local soil.

Members of the Eagle Eye audio-visual club sold snacks and drinks, which, in keeping with the science theme, were prepared in beakers, to raise money for the club’s activities.

Representatives from the state Department of Conservation of Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry, the Allegheny National Forest and Adagio Health also had displays at the symposium.