February 18, 2013

Aquinas Academy students excel

GIBSONIA — Ten Aquinas Academy eighth grade students competed in the Region 7 Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) competition Feb. 2.

All 10 students received a second place or higher for their science presentation.

Sophia Kartsonas (Fox Chapel), Justin Panzarella (Mars), Allie Stewart (Mars), Katianne Cerny (Pine) and Robert Phillips (McCandless) received a second-place award for their projects.

Clara Osburg (Tarentum), Michael Henry (Fox Chapel), Chuck Adams (Richland) and Nate Lisanti (Sewickley) received a first-place award.

John Reed (Mars) received a perfect score — an honor given to less than 5 percent of the participants at the competition.

Clara Osburg also won a special award from the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Chemical Society for her project on food preservation systems for tomatoes.

Osburg, Henry, Adams, Lisanti and Reed will travel to Penn State to present their projects at the PJAS state competition.

Jumping rope helps heart association

ADAMS TWP — Mars Elementary School's “Mars Stars” Jump Rope Team will hold its annual Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser Tuesday through Monday to benefit the American Heart Association.

As part of the fundraiser, students in second through fourth grades are asked to collect pledges for the number of times they jump a rope in their physical education classes. “Mars Stars” Jump Rope Team has been the top Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser in Butler County for more than 20 years.

For more information, contact Pam Best, health and physical education teacher, at 724-625-3161.

Students receive art scholarships

ADAMS TWP — Mars junior Madeleine Salapow and sophomore Nick DeLeone received partial scholarships to the Carnegie Mellon University Pre-College Art & Design Program.

The program prepares emerging artists and designers by exploring traditional tools and new technologies in a variety of media. Courses include drawing, sculpture, digital photography, animation, ceramics, painting and printmaking as well as communication and industrial design.

For more information, contact Erin Sloane, art teacher, at 724-625-1581.

Glassblowing scholarships won

ADAMS TWP — Mars juniors Maria Hartung and Jessica Hunter received partial scholarships to participate in Pittsburgh Glass Center's after-school High School Glassblowing Class.

“It's such a great way to learn,” says Jason Forck, Pittsburgh Glass Center youth education coordinator and hot glass instructor. “It's a rare opportunity to work with a medium (such as hot glass) at the pre-college level.”

The 10-week program offers students an opportunity to learn the basic skills of gathering and blowing glass. Pittsburgh Glass Center is one of only a few facilities across the country that offers a program for high school students.

Students begin by learning how to gather the glass, which is heated to a temperature of around 2,000 degrees. Once the students learn the basics, they move on to blowing the hot glass and eventually to making cups and different shapes and adding color.

The class offers students an “early foot in the door” when it comes to their knowledge of working with glass as an art form, says Forck. The class also provides students with unique pieces that they can add to their art portfolios.

For more information, contact Erin Sloane, art teacher, at 724-625-1581 or visit

Bowl-A-Thon to aid MS Foundation

ADAMS TWP — Mars High School student council will sponsor a bowl-a-thon fundraiser from 11 to 2 p.m. Monday at Mystic Lanes in Valencia.

Students are collecting pledges to support Mars resident Dawn Kumlien, who is participating in a leg of the Multiple Sclerosis National Foundation's “MS Run the U.S. Relay Across America.

For more information, call 724-625-1581 or visit