NEW CASTLE —
PREP PROGRAM CREDITED
He credited the district’s nine-week SAT prep program, offered to advanced sophomores, for boosting Maas’ testing power. The course includes timed practice exams to prepare students for the pressure, Siciliano said.
Siciliano teaches the math portion of that class, and reading and writing are taught by Stella Magusiak.
They were trained by Princeton Review, which offers the course renowned for increasing testing scores on SATs.
The program is free at New Castle and is paid for with Title I funds. Princeton Review helps to increase student SAT scores by 100 to 200 per student, Siciliano said. “That’s how powerful this class is, and John (Maas) had the skill to get to that level.”
Siciliano learned of Maas’ SAT results through an email from Maas.
Maas, who attended the school board meeting with his parents and his siblings, was introduced by Litrenta.
“I have given John several awards for student of the month,” Litrenta said. “He has a history of accomplishments, and we expect to hear a lot about him in the future.”
Last spring, Maas won top honors in the regional and state-level Junior Academy of Science at Slippery Rock University and Penn State University.
He earned a perfect score on the state level, along with special recognition, which included a $20,000 Penn State University engineering scholarship if he so chooses.
On the regional level he won a $12,000 scholarship specific to Slippery Rock University for the best 11th grade project. Plus, he won the director and innovation awards.
He explained that his science project, “Bridging the Dimensional Gap,” involved rendering a three-dimensional object in a two-dimensional space allowed by the computer. Certain languages on the computer can only render in two-dimensional use in pixels, and don’t have the required math to render in 3-D, he explained.
Maas aspires to attend Carnegie Mellon University and major in computer electrical engineering.
Mantinaos expects that when Maas graduates from high school he already will have earned 15 college credits.
Before graduation, Maas hopes to compete again in the science academy.
“I’ll have to come up with another project,” he said.