Ray earns perfect score at PJAS


Courtesy photo

Brandie Ray earned a first award at PJAS and advanced to states.

Riley Miller and Cazen Cowfer

A Bellwood-Antis junior had a remarkable performance on Saturday at the Regional PJAS meet.

Brandie Ray won a first award and got a perfect score, which is very rare.

“I didn’t believe it and still don’t believe that I received a perfect score. Out of the approximate 100 PJASers, about only 10 scored a perfect score,” Brandie said. “My project, in my opinion, was the least scientific and least ‘intelligent-Sounding.’ All these people mentioned standard deviation, null hypothesis, and p-values, while I was talking about theories, philosophy, and politics.

I didn’t believe it and still don’t believe that I received a perfect score. Out of the approximate 100 PJASers, about only 10 scored a perfect score.

— Brandie Ray

“On top of that, I just has perfected my presentation that morning because our limit is 10 minutes, but I was 18 minutes. On top of that, I was running on four or five hours of sleep, and I was numb from the waist down because the night before was mini-THON, and as chairman I was running around trouble-shooting.”

The Bellwood-Antis Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science team attended the Region 6 competition on at Penn State Altoona Campus.  The next level for students is the state’s level which is on May 20-22 in University Park.

PJAS is a statewide organization of junior and senior high school students designed to stimulate and promote interest in science among its members through the development of research projects and investigations, according to the organization’s website.

Exploring the question of whether or not drug education programs affect student’s views on drugs and drug usage, Brandie competed in the behavior category. Her project was called “The Dynamic of Teenage Society and narcotics;” it sought to find whether teenagers using drugs had either an abstinent education (influential, no- knowledge) or progressive education (objective, non-biased facts).

” What my project turned into, surprisingly, was a political notion. I discovered that no matter if somebody used drugs or not, they knew nothing about common, general knowledge of drugs (specifically heroin/opioids) in Pennsylvania,” Brandie said. “This was due to Section 1547, Act 211 of the PA School Code that had an abstinent ideology clause. It wasn’t completely abstinent, but its effects were atrocious. Only three people could tell me facts on heroin and opioids out of 100 people, even though all of these sujects were taken from Blair County, and only a year ago we had a drug bust of 10,000 bundles of heroin known as Dragon estimated to be worth $7.8 million.”

Other B-A competitors fared well. Daniel Kustaborder, Quintin Nelson, Brendan Andrews, and Hannah Hornberber all won a second awards.