Pitt-Bradford hosts Twin Tiers Regional Science Fair

Winner earns cash prize and Pitt-Bradford scholarship

UPB Science Fair

Students from Archbishop Walsh Academy/Southern Tier Catholic School took home the top prizes at the Twin Tiers Regional Science Fair on campus Saturday.

The fair was a joint project between Terra Science and Education and Pitt-Bradford and was open to students in grades 5 through 12 attending public, private, charter, parochial or home schools in the Pennsylvania counties of McKean, Potter or Warren and the New York Counties of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany.

Senior Catherine Przybyla of Cuba, N.Y., took the top prize with her project “The Inhibitory Effects of Tea Tree and Thieves Essential Oils on Staphylococcus epidermidis Biofilms on Stainless Steel Washers and Glass.” She won a $200 cash prize courtesy of the Penn-York section of the American Chemical Society and a $1,000 scholarship to Pitt-Bradford (renewable annually if she chooses to attend). In addition, she is now eligible to compete in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta in May.

Dominic Esposito of Shinglehouse was also honored for his project, “Lasting Effect of COVID-19 on a Patient’s Vital Capacity.” He was selected to attend the Genius Olympiad 2022, an international science fair that is focused on environmental science and human ecology. This year’s event will be held virtually.

Before presenting their projects, students had a chance to tour the university’s television and radio production studios, crime scene investigation house and nursing lab.

During the awards ceremony, students heard a keynote talk by Dr. Matt Kropf, associate professor of natural sciences and director of the Harry R. Halloran Jr./American Refining Group Energy Institute at Pitt-Bradford. Kropf, a trained engineer, spoke about careers in science and engineering. He holds several patents and is the chief technical officer for AE Resources, a start-up using ultrasound and microwave technology that he developed to build a zero-emissions biodiesel refinery. At Pitt-Bradford, he teaches across several programs, including energy science and technology, and is the architect of two new engineering technology programs that will begin enrolling students this fall.

The fair was directed by Dr. Daniel Sadowsky, assistant professor of chemistry. Entries were judged by Pitt-Bradford faculty members Dr. Charles Choo, assistant professor of physics; Dr. Robin Choo, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Ovidiu Frantescu, associate professor of geology; Dr. Adina Frantescu, instructor of geology; Dr. Amy Gresock, assistant professor of business management; Dr. Rebecca McHugh, assistant professor of psychology; Dr. Lanre Morenikeji, assistant professor of biology; and Bradford Area High School teacher Peter Eckstrom.

To learn about taking part in next year’s fair, contact Sadowsky at or Ryan Smith of Terra Science at