MN High School Students Named JSHS Finalists, Headed To Nationals



High school students share original scientific research at state symposium, win trip to Nationals

Top Finalist at Regional STEM Competition, Kyle Ledermann

Top Finalist at Regional STEM Competition, Kyle Ledermann

[ST. PAUL, MN, March 25, 2019] -- Nearly 80 students gathered March 23, 2019, on the University of Northwestern campus to compete in the Minnesota Academy of Science 51st Annual North Central Regional Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (JSHS), a scientific research paper competition for high school students in Minnesota and the Dakotas. 

Science professionals serving as paper judges selected five projects (six students) as Regional Finalists to join the 400 students from across the U.S. who will be competing at National JSHS. All Minnesota Finalists will receive an expense-paid trip to Albuquerque, NM, where the national competition will be held April 24-28, 2019. The top three Finalists also won a total of $4,500 in college scholarships.


1st Place - Kyle Ledermann (Grand Rapids, MN), Thrust-Decibel Efficiency of Drone Propellers - Oral Presenter at JSHS Nationals & $2,000 Scholarship

2nd Place - Manashree Padiyath (Woodbury, MN), Thyme and Thyme again: Investigation of synergistic antimicrobial activity of Thymus vulgaris Essential Oil in combination with ‘superfood’ Essential Oils  - Oral Presenter at JSHS Nationals & $1,500 Scholarship

3rd Place - Haley Jostes (Stillwater, MN), Combating Undernutrition in Developing Countries with a Compact Aeroponics System Utilizing Contaminated Water - Poster Presenter at JSHS Nationals & $1,000 Scholarship

4th Place - Abigail Roh & Samantha Detor (Minneapolis, MN), Searching the Shadows: Using Machine Learning to Classify Trees in Aerial Imagery - Poster Presenters at JSHS Nationals

5th Place - Olivia McNair (Ottertail, MN), The Impact of High School Scheduling on Test Scores - Poster Presenter at JSHS Nationals


“This year we are really excited to see so many students working to solve problems they see in their local communities or happening in the world,” said Program Director Sara Gomez. Senior Haley Jostes, returning to Nationals for a second year, provides a good example. “It all started in my backyard pond,” said Jostes, referring to her current work in aeroponics that began last year with a project to decontaminate run-off water from farmland. Jostes is now contacting aid organizations that might want to use her aeroponic system to grow food in developing countries.

Winning students will receive their awards at the Special Awards Ceremony held March 31 at 7:00 p.m. at the Minnesota State Science & Engineering Fair (Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center, MN).

Student competitors advanced to this state-level competition after evaluation by regional research paper review teams across Minnesota. North Central JSHS is one of 48 regional symposia serving more than 10,000 students annually in the U.S.

The National JSHS competition is hosted by the National Science Teachers Association and sponsored by the Army Educational Outreach Program and the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. At the national level, students compete for significant scholarship awards.

Nationwide, JSHS is sponsored by the research arm of the Department of Defense and administered in cooperation with U.S. colleges and universities. JSHS aims to prepare and support students to contribute as future scientists and engineers conducting STEM research on behalf of or directly for the Department of Defense, the Federal research laboratories, or for the greater good in advancing the nation’s scientific and technological progress.


North Central JSHS is an Access to Excellence program of the Minnesota Academy of Science sponsored by Seagate Technology, 3M, Ecolab, General Mills, and the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP).