On Saturday, March 27th, the WHJESP held its 6th Annual “re-imagined” Science Showcase as a virtual event. Due to Covid-19 gathering restrictions, the organization accomplished a new way for students to showcase their scientific aptitude. With the whimsically and appropriately named theme of “QuaranSTEAM”, 24 of the best and brightest elementary through high school students presented their research projects digitally to a panel of judges. 

News anchor Claudine Ewing of WGRZ TV-2 returned as our gracious host for this year’s showcase, streamed via Zoom, Facebook Live, and is now available to view on the WHJESP YouTube channel. Those who pre-registered were able to attend the WGRZ-TV2 Virtual VIP Waiting Room pre-event, meet Science Showcase sponsors, and were eligible for drawings for Door Dash gift card giveaways throughout the program. Lynne Holden, M.D. Professor of Emergency Medicine and the Vice-chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine delivered a dynamic keynote presentation that encouraged the participants to pursue their passions. 

We gratefully acknowledge this year’s sponsors for their generous support and commitment to this annual event. This year’s gold-level sponsors were Five Star Bank, WGRZ TV-2, Erie County Youth Services, First Niagara Foundation, KeyBank Foundation, 1490 Buffalo Black Achievers, Blue Cross Blue Shield WNY, Uniland Development Company, 93.7 WBLK, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Ingram Micro Company, M&T Bank Foundation, Amerigroup Partnership Plan, and the African Heritage Food Co-Op. 

We would be amiss if we did not give Andrew Huff of Technically Connected Multimedia Solutions a special acknowledgment for a remarkable job producing the event.

The QuaranSTEAM Science Showcase winners received great prizes, including Chromebooks, Nintendo Switch, and Amazon Gift Cards. All participants received guest passes to the Penn-Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve.      

The 6th Annual WHJESP Science Showcase winners are as follows:

Elementary School

1st Place: Henry Kinney

2nd Place: Brayden Hammer

3rd Place: Nikolas Alexander

4th Place: CJ Colvin

4th Place: Jayden Kasprazak

5th Place: Ella Gawron

Middle School

1st Place: Solin Cruz

2nd Place: Faith and Iris Barrera

 

High School

1st Place: Nora and Rory Warren

 

The Science Showcase organizers planned the event for months through Zoom meetings, emails, texts, and phone calls. The pandemic forced the team to re-think and approach everything differently. This event not only showcased the talented youth of WNY, but was an example that with determination, one could forge through the most difficult of circumstances. That message of empowerment and strength through adversity is a value that #TEAMHUTCH aims to instill in the students who take part in our programs.  Along with the annual science fair, we are proud to continue to be a vital resource of afterschool programs, summer sports clinics, extracurricular activities, and clubs, all with an emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). We have provided these services, at no cost, for over 37 years.

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Aswad Jones & Crystal Hammer
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