Nearly 100 high school students from area schools recently tested their science skills ranging from biology to physics to chemistry to geosciences in Bloomsburg University’s annual Science Iditarod.

Out of 24 teams, MMI’s Panic! at the Laboratory was left standing as champion after defeating a fellow MMI team, The BeSTeAm, in the Iditarod’s super round.

Loyalsock’s Science Squad finished third.

Other competing schools included Lehighton, Muncy, North Schuylkill, Old Forge, Selinsgrove, Shikellamy, Southern Columbia and Wyimissing – many of which fielding multiple teams.

BU’s Science Iditarod is an annual science quiz-bowl competition for regional high schools, where student teams are asked trivia questions regarding geosciences, biology, chemistry and physics. The top two scoring teams go head-to-head in the all-science “super round” for the championship.

The Iditarod gives regional schools a chance to show off their scientific prowess in a fun way that generates excitement about science. In addition, it serves as a possible gateway for students to consider STEM careers, as well as BU’s science and technology programs.

#NoFilter I’m so proud of my sister. Little miss high school graduate. You’ve came a long way Fungus Head. As much as we argue and I cut your ass, I am overjoyed that you made it to this wonderful milestone in your life. Time to turn up with your big sister in Connecticut ! Love you lots. #FutureVet #FutureHusky #PRHOudSisterMoment


From team-building exercises with horses to an engaging drug and alcohol panel discussion with local court officials to a children’s activities fair with the community, it was another busy and productive summer for Bloomsburg University’s TRiO Upward Bound Program. It was also a summer of celebration, marking the 50th anniversary of the federal grant program and its 37th year on campus. Since 1965, Upward Bound has grown from 17 initial programs with 2,061 participants to today featuring 964 funded programs working with more than 80,000 students.

Upward Bound is a national program funded through the Department of Education that more than doubles the chances of first-generation students graduating college. Locally, the BU program serves students from Berwick, Mahony, Milton, Mount Carmel, North Schuylkill, Pottsville, Shamokin and Shikellamy high schools. 

The program – with the help of a mentoring and support staff of Bloomsburg University students – provides a wide range of services to prepare its participants to succeed in college. They include weekly tutoring, test preparation, college application and financial aid form assistance, cultural enrichment programs, field trips and a summer academic program.

Among the highlights of the 2014 Summer STEM Academy were:

  • a drug and alcohol panel featuring Columbia County Judge Thomas James and other county court officials
  • team-building exercises at Willow Creek Farms in Numidia
  • a STEM Activities Fair at McBride Memorial Library in Berwick
  • a Family Movie fundraiser with the Berwick Theater
  • an interactive workshop with The Actor’s Company Theatre
  • several site visits and campus tours of universities across the region.

From exploring digital forensics to deciphering secret computer codes to testing chemical reactions to examining the difference between human and animal bones, Bloomsburg University’s Math and Science Summer Experience recently opened several impressionable eyes on campus.

More than 50 local middle and high school students participated in the week-long camp, where they got a taste of digital forensics, computer science, human and biological forensics.

The annual camp - hosted by the College of Science and Technology - is designed to broaden the participants’ interest in math and science, along with enhancing their skills and understanding to bridge the summer break gap. Their classroom exploration included hands-on labs and exercises, presentations and demonstrations. 


Bloomsburg University’s Model United Nations student organization hosted more than 150 local participants as part of its annual High School Model United Nations Conference, designed to stimulate awareness of global issues and provide participants research, analytical and problem-solving skills necessary to active and full citizenship.

This conference provides an opportunity for local high school students to participate in an authentic simulation of the United Nations General Assembly, Security Council, and other important bodies. Participating schools included Berwick Area High School, Central Columbia High School, Southern Columbia High School and Williamsport Area High School.

Committees and Topics

General Assembly

  • Preventing Terrorists from Acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention

United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)

  • Combating the Illegal Trade of Animals and Animal Products
  • Reaching Sustainable Energy for All

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Council

  • Addressing Food Security Through Food Policies
  • Improving Human Nutrition

Security Council

  • Addressing the Situation in Syria

  • Advancing Women’s Participation in Peacekeeping