High school hosts fifth annual science conference


Sarah Levenson

Pointing to the visual on the screen, junior Joshua Pail explains his long-term on complex pendulums.

Brigette Richard, Social Media Director

After last year’s fourth annual science conference had been held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Brian Wargo and his Physics I-III classes were able to hold it in person this year on May 14.

The Physics classes had held their long-term presentations in the high school auditorium, middle school auditorium, high school library and different classrooms among the high school. Wargo had invited twenty-one alumni back to present about different things they have learned in their career and/or their college education. Students in the high school and in sixth grade were able to listen and learn about the different experiments and research  students and alumni presented. After only having a few weeks in person at school to work on their long terms, students in physics classes had managed to get them done and presented in time. 

After the day was over, Wargo had Keynote Speaker Craig Lehockey present to all of the high school and sixth-grade students. Lehockey is a Freedom Alumni of 2004 and then graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor of science degree in Bioengineering and Neuroscience. Lehockey had presented to the students about his adventures and accomplishments in Neuroscience.

“I think my favorite part was getting to see the experienced alumni come back and share their life experiences and work with us,” senior Alexis Surenda said.

With the over twenty alumni coming back, they had been able to share their experiences from high school, physics, STEM classes, college classes and more with the high school students. Being experienced they were able to give presentations on their choosings to the students. There had been alumni graduating from just last year in 2020 all the way to almost twenty years ago. 

Alumni graduating in 2020, Cole Skuse and Max Ujhazy had been there to present after doing their first year of college during Covid times. Skuse had presented “First Year As a Physics Major” and “Analyzing Decay Patterns of the Ds Meson Through the Use of Dalitz Plots,” while Ujhazy had presented “Freshman Year COVID Class and Research.”

“My long term was on blood absorption through gauze pads. My favorite part about being able to do the science conference was being able to present in person rather than through google meet as they did last year,” junior Sara Mengel said.

The 2020 Science Conference was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After working all year on their long-term projects, students in Wargo’s physics classes then had to present their long-terms in a completely new environment to them via Google Meet.

Students presented long-terms on many different topics including the effects on different things. Mengel had presented her longterm on how different lengths of gauze affects the amount of blood absorption. She had tested different sizes of stretch gauze and different layer amounts to see how it affected blood absorption. Surenda had presented her longterm on sutures and how the different patterns and amounts can test affect their strength. She had tested what the strongest type of suture is by stitching banana peels.

After successfully completing the 2021 Science Conference, Wargo plans to hold the sixth annual Science Conference again in the spring of 2022.