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Member News – May 25, 2022

Bloomsburg Children’s Museum Announces Pennsylvania’s State Junior Academy of Science State Winners

The Bloomsburg Children’s Museum hosts a science fair for local students every January. This past January, 35 students from 8 schools competed in the fair which was held at the Bloomsburg Fire Company. From that, 17 students were sent to the regional Pennsylvania Academy of Science (PJAS) fair at Susquehanna University on February 26. At the regional fair, students from 10 counties compete for a chance to move on to states. Seven of the 17 students the Museum sponsored at this fair moved on to the PJAS state science fair.  

This past Monday, May 16th, these 7 students joined over 1200 other students from across the state at Penn State University to showcase their work and compete for prizes.  

Philip Polstra Jr. (Bloomsburg Christian School) captured a First Award in Junior High School Chemistry for his project “Acid Erosion.” Kathryn Polstra (Bloomsburg Christian School) was awarded a Second Award in Highschool Biochemistry for her project “The Digestibility of Gum.” Brooke Rhoads (Bloomsburg Christian School) was awarded a Second Award in Highschool Chemistry for “Freezing Point Depression.” Josiah Stoffer (Bloomsburg Christian School) won a Second Award in Highschool Biology for his project “How Well Brine Shrimp Hatch in Different Salinities.” Kaitlyn Westover (Benton Area High School) was awarded a Second Award in Biology for her presentation on “What Fruit Produces More DNA?” Brooke Woll (Danville High School) took home a Second Award in Highschool Behavioral Science for her project “Does highlighting text help or hinder memorability.” Gwendolyn Greene won a Third Award in Highschool Biology for her project “Beet This.”

“We want to congratulate each of these amazing students. They worked for months on their projects and rose to the top level of competition,” Dr. Ginny Weibel, the Director of the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum said. “I also want to recognize the contributions of the students’ parents and teachers who worked with the students and supported them through this.”  

Sekisui/Kydex, the PPL Foundation, and The Friends of the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum helped to sponsor these students as they advanced through all levels of the science fairs.  

The Bloomsburg Children’s Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit overseen by a board of directors. This organization strives to offer unique, sustainable, and dynamic learning opportunities for youth through year-round interactive exhibits, programming, and community outreach. For more information, please visit

Bloomsburg YMCA Announces EITC Accreditation

The Bloomsburg Area YMCA (BAY) has announced its approval as an accredited Educational Improvement Tax Credit Organization for its Summer Day Camp and Afterschool programs. The YMCA now is approved as both an Educational Improvement Organization and a Pre-k Scholarship Organization.

The approval will allow BAY to continue its commitment to youth and families throughout Columbia County by partnering with local businesses that can help ensure quality programs while earning valuable tax credits.

“The Bloomsburg Area YMCA offers an array of innovative educational and socialization programs that address the needs of youth of all ages in Columbia County,” said CEO Wayne Stump. “The EITC accreditation will help us grow and enhance our school age childcare program that are vital to so many families in our area.”

The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, administered by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, allows the business community to get more involved in children’s education by redirecting their tax dollars to support local non-profit scholarship organizations.

By contributing to an authorized non-profit organization like the Bloomsburg Area YMCA, EITC will provide companies with a 75% tax credit for a one-year commitment, or 90% for a two-year commitment. Credits are awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, with the maximum tax credit companies could earn of $750,000.

“EITC scholarships have provided thousands of opportunities to families throughout the state, and we are proud to offer this incentive in our own community,” Stump said. “This funding is a chance to reaffirm BAY’s commitment to young people today and in the years to come. We’re excited to welcome delegates from the community to join us in this journey.”

“This accreditation is just one example of how BAY is deepening its commitment to the development of our youth, and how it enables the business community to help young people achieve their goals every single day,” Stump said. “We have seen first-hand how the local business community has overwhelming supported our programs, and we are hopeful this new funding opportunity will continue that support.”

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