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Saint Joe's Junior Named 'State Winner' of NJ Science Day Competition

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Arthur Yuen '25 was named State Winner of the NJ Science Day Competition.
  • Academics
Tim LeCras

A Saint Joseph High School junior was selected as a State Winner for the 2024 NJ Science Day Competition. 

Arthur Yuen ‘25 and his sister Amelia, a student at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, took home the award for their research on “Photocatalytic Technology for Air Purification.”

“We celebrate your ability to apply scientific thinking and reasoning to the most important challenges of your generation,” Mariel Kolker and Jon Ekstroem, co-directors of the NJ State Science Day Committee, said in an email announcing the award. “We applaud your innovative thinking and encourage you to continue in your efforts to address anthropogenic problems in New Jersey including pollution and climate change.”

The project explores the potential to use photocatalytic methods in addressing air pollution, the leading cause of death according to the World Health Organization. 

“When I first heard the news, I was definitely elated,” Arthur Yuen said. “It was something I had sunk hours into, and I was really glad that the fruits of my labor finally paid off. I was also surprised because I knew that the state winner award was very selective. Competing with many talented kids in New Jersey and being chosen as the state winner is something I am really honored by.”

The siblings will be recognized at an award ceremony hosted by Merck in May.

This is the second consecutive year the Yuens were recognized by the committee. During the 2023 contest, the siblings were honored as a “County Winner” for a project entitled: Investigating Low-Cost Calcium Magnesium Acetate as an Alternative to Traditional Road Salt.

In the classroom, Yuen is in the midst of a rigorous junior year class schedule that includes five Advanced Placement courses: AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP Physics and AP United States History. 

Yuen credits his success to the education he has received at Saint Joe’s.

“The school really excels in offering numerous opportunities and resources for student success,” he said. “In particular, the Science Department has played a pivotal role in my development, providing guidance and support whenever needed. Whether it was tackling a complex research question or navigating general academic challenges, mentors like Mr. [Daniel] Chedid ‘11 and Mr. [Matteo] Bellantoni are always available to steer me in the right direction. I deeply believe the award I received is as much a testament to their commitment as it is of my own perseverance.”