The University of Scranton plans academic competitions for middle, high school students

For Abington Journal | March 14th, 2017 11:57 am

SCRANTON — The University of Scranton hosts several academic competitions for area middle school and high school students during the spring semester, including the Brain Bee for neuroscience, an Earth Day essay contest, a Computer Science Programming Contest, the Kane Competition for physics and engineering and the Integration Bee for mathematics.

The university’s Neuroscience Program hosted the 17th annual Northeast PA Brain Bee Feb. 4 for high school students in grades nine through 12. It which encourages the study of the brain and how it relates to intelligence, memory, emotions, movements, aging and other factors.

The winner of the Northeast PA Brain Bee, Michael Medaugh, a senior at Pocono Mountain East High School, will be invited to participate in the National Brain Bee, which will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, this spring. Second place winner Elizabeth Mathiesen is in ninth grade at Stroudsburg Area High School. Third place winner Giuliana Iona is a junior at Wallenpaupack Area School.

For more information about the Brain Bee, contact Robert Waldeck, Ph.D., program director and associate professor of biology, at 570-941-4324 or

The University will host its annual Kane Competition on Tuesday, April 4. The daylong contest tests high school students’ knowledge of physics and engineering through a series of hands-on games and challenges. Students compete individually and as part of a team. The competition can help participants prepare for Advanced Placement (AP) tests.

This year’s theme of “Time Travel” will include four events that require students to work in a team to successfully complete a series of tasks related to physics, as well as “The Kane Quiz,” which is a multiple-choice test of general knowledge in mechanics, waves, optics, electromagnetism and basic circuits, with questions similar to those found on the AP physics exam.

The competition will be held in the Byron Recreation Complex and pre-registration is required. For additional information, contact the competition administrator professor Nicholas Truncale at

The university will sponsor an essay contest, “Pennsylvania Energy and Our Environment,” for area students in grades seven to 12. Submissions are due Monday, April 10.

Essay contest winners will be announced at an Evening of Environmental Science, which will take place on Thursday, April 20, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Loyola Science Center. The event, which is open to the general public, as well as contest participants and their families, will include University student-run interactive science experiments, displays and astronomy observation, as well as the exhibit of essay contest submissions.

For additional information about the Earth Day essay contest, visit or call 570-941-7520.

The annual Computer Programming Contest will be held Friday, April 21 in the Loyola Science Center. Hosted by the Computing Sciences Department, the competition for high school students will involve using programming languages to solve six computer-programming problems.

Immediately following the competition, an awards banquet will recognize the first, second and third place teams.

For additional information about the Computer Programming Contest, contact Robert McCloskey, Ph.D., assistant professor of computing sciences, at 570-941-7774 or

The annual Math Integration Bee will take place at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27. The competition, which is hosted by the Mathematics Department, includes both college and high school divisions. It can help high school students improve their skills for AP mathematics tests. The Bee is offered free of charge.

For more information, contact Stacey Muir, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics, at 570-941-6580 or

The contests are in addition to educational programs offered through the University’s theatre program, art gallery and performance music program, as well as educational tours of the Loyola Science Center and other enrichment programs.

For more information about the University’s educational program for elementary, middle and high school students, visit

For Abington Journal

Information provided by The University of Scranton.