Let the Academic Games Begin at Scranton

    The University hosts multiple educational programs and academic competitions for area elementary, middle and high school students during the spring semester. Pictured are participants in the Brain Bee for neuroscience, which took place in February.
    February 26, 2019

    The University of Scranton will host several academic competitions for area middle school and high school students during the spring semester including: a Computer Science Programming Contest; a history competition; an Earth Day essay contest; the Hayes Competition for physics and engineering; the Integration Bee for mathematics and a business scholars competition, as well as the Brain Bee for neuroscience which took place on campus earlier this month. The University also host academic programming events for biomechanics and for digital and social media.

    On Friday, March 29, the annual Computer Programming Contest will be held 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

    On Saturday, April 6, The University will host Region 2 of the National History Day competition for the state of Pennsylvania. The competition allows junior and senior high school students from northeastern Pennsylvania to compete in the categories of historical essays, performances, documentaries, websites and exhibits on a historical theme. Contest winners will move on to the Pennsylvania state competition, with the potential to compete in the national championship in Washington, D.C., in the summer.

    For additional information about the Region 2 of the National History Day competition, contact Sean Brennan, Ph.D., associate professor of history, at

    The University of Scranton will sponsor an Earth Day Essay Contest for area students in grades seven to 12 with submissions due electronically by Wednesday, April 3.

    Essay contest winners will be announced at an Evening of Environmental Science, which will take place on Thursday, April 11, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Loyola Science Center. The event, which is open to contest participants and their families as well as the general public, will include University student-run interactive science experiments and displays, as well as the exhibit of essay contest submissions.

    For additional information about the Earth Day Essay Contest, call 570-941-7520.

    On Tuesday, April 16, the University will host its annual Hayes Competition for physics and engineering. The daylong contest tests high school students’ knowledge of physics 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. Pre-registration is required.

    For additional information, contact the competition administrator Nicholas Truncale, faculty specialist for physics and electrical engineering, at

    On Tuesday, April 23, the annual Math Integration Bee for high school students will take place at 4:30 p.m. The competition, which is hosted by the Mathematics Department, 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

    Business Scholars competition, hosted by University faculty and the High School Business Club, is planned for Saturday, May 4. A business case and instructions will be provided to the teams of one to four students prior to the event, and students will be judged by faculty and area business leaders on their presentations. The top teams are awarded plaques and cash prizes.

    For more information, call 570-941-4047 or email

    The University’s Neuroscience Program hosted the 19th annual Northeast PA Brain Bee for high school students in grades nine through 12 on Feb. 2. The competition 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 was Auden Gu from Hanover Park High School. Tommy Shen from Wissahickon High School came in second place and Jeremy Harman from Wyoming Area High School came in third place.

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

    In addition to the competitions, the University will host National Biomechanics Day programming on Wednesday, April 10, for middle and high school students in the University’s state-of-the-art exercise science labs. Area students will participate in hands-on activities including motion capture analysis, posturography, force plate activities, electromyography and other activities designed to introduce them to biomechanics.

    For more information, contact Bryon Applequist, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise science, at

    The University is also planning a social and digital media conference for high school sophomore and junior students on Tuesday April, 30. For more information, contact Sufyan Mohammed, Ph.D., associate professor of communication, at

    In addition, educational programs are 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 the Community Relations website.

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