47 W-L Student Scientists Presented their Papers at the 78th Annual Virginia Junior Academy of Science (VJAS) Symposium

Forty-seven W-L student scientists presented their research papers to panels of university judges at the 78th Annual Virginia Junior Academy of Science (VJAS) Symposium held at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA this past week. Eleven students received formal recognition including Mr. James Licato whose project won the overall VJAS “Best in Symposium Award” among many other honors. All students represented our high school with perseverance and commitment.

Mrs. Dawn McCoart, the VJAS Co-Sponsor at W-L HS, won “VJAS Teacher of the Year Award” having taken over 700+ students to this competition over the last 23 years. Mr. Noah Portner was elected co-editor of the VJAS Voice Student Newsletter. Ms. Cassia Block (W- L Class of 2017), now a Chemistry major at St. Mary’s College, was awarded the VJAS Service Award for her continuing volunteer work with VJAS. The recognized students and their project titles were:

James Licato Optimizing Metformin Removal: Utilizing Molecular Sieves and Absorbents Within Sand Filtration Units
  • VAS Best in Symposium Award (Trip to AJAS/AAAS Conference to Present in the Fall of 2019 – Seattle)
  • Ertle Thompson Memorial Endowment Award
  • 1st Place – Environmental Science
  • Presentation to the VAS (Virginia Academy of Science)
Rachel Brill The Effect of Priming on Risk Analysis
  • 1st Place – Psychology
  • Presentations to the VAS (Virginia Academy of Science)
Naomi Abramowicz
Noah Portner The Effect of Sunlight on Mycorrhizal Network Quantity in Soil and Growth in Plants
  • 2nd Place – Botany
  • Elected Co-Editor of the VJAS Voice
Hamna Shafiq The effect of concentration of colloidal silver and gram positive or negative bacteria on zone of inhibition
  • 2nd Place – Microbiology
Emma Berver The effect of surface angle on the width and length of a simulated blood drop
  • Honorable Mention – Math: Theoretical and Modeling
Dilin Williams Flexural Strength of Beam Structures
  • Honorable Mention – Engineering
Belen Tesfaye The Effect of Tree Cover Loss and Population on Air Quality
  • Gamma Sigma Delta Award from the VA Tech Chapter of the Honor Society the Department of Agriculture – Best Paper
Mahia Rahman
Natalie Aramendia The Effect of Filtration Material on Lead Concentration
  • Dr. and Mrs. Preston H. Leake Award in Applied Chemistry – Best Paper
Lillian Watson