MAHS Claims 1st Place in Business Challenge


Students from Middletown Area High School captured 1st place in the 2017 Chamber High School Business Challenge for their project called “Polarus Systems.” (Left to Right) Mentor Brian Groff, Pennsy Supply, Inc.; Emcee Amanda St. Hilaire, WHTM ABC27; Students John Hursh, Jessaca Rusnov, Shannon Reese, Aaron Fischer, and Mai Dang; Larissa Bailey, Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC. Not pictured are the team’s advisors Sean Burke and David Martin.


Press Release from Harrisburg Regional Chamber & Capital Region Economic Development Corporation:

HARRISBURG (April 27, 2017) – Yesterday, four different teams from three local high schools advanced to and participated in the second round of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC’s ninth annual Chamber High School Business Challenge at Harrisburg University of Science & Technology, 326 Market Street, Harrisburg.

Team #2, from Middletown Area High School took the first place prize, each receiving a $400.00 scholarship, for their business called “Polarus Systems.” Team members included Mai Dang, Aaron Fischer, John Hursh, Shannon Reese and Jessaca Rusnov.  Sean Burke and David Martin were the team advisors and Brian Groff served as mentor.

Polarus Systems manufactures high-quality, transparent photovoltaic cells to replace the windows of cars. These high-tech and high-quality windows are made from photovoltaic cells that are efficient and manufactured to be long- lasting and eco-friendly. Currently, Polarus Systems is looking at installing its product in hybrid cars to test out this new energy-efficient, eco-friendly technology.

When asked about her experience participating in this year’s competition, Mai Dang one of Polarus’ team members stated, “Participating in the Business Challenge gives us a more realistic sense of what’s going on in the business world.  It was a great opportunity to learn first-hand on what putting together a business plan is all about.”

Cash scholarship prizes, which were made possible by generous sponsorships from the regional business community, were provided to each student who participated in the event.  LaTorre Communications and Pennsy Supply served as presenting sponsors, Morgan Communications was the associate sponsor.  Supporting sponsors included Capital Region Water, Enginuity, LLC, Harristown Enterprises, Inc., Ms. Valerie Ketchen, Schaedler Yesco Distribution, SECCO, Inc., Sound Community Solutions, Inc., and Tradesman Building Group.  Patrons included Mrs. Jessica Baker, BELCO Community Credit Union, Capital Region Partnership for Career Development, Mr. Bruce Krell and Lou Barletta for Congress.  Partners were Harrisburg University and ABC27.

Blades Skating Rink & Café from Harrisburg High School came in second place; third place went to The Syndicate from Hershey High School; fourth place finisher was LightBite from Hershey High School.

School districts interested in participating in the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC’s 2018 Chamber High School Business Challenge should contact Larissa Bailey, Government Relations Manager, at (717) 213-5041 or

The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC serves as a catalyst for promoting growth and quality of life in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties by providing a unique blend of business, community and economic development and advocacy services under one roof to boost our economic vitality and livability as a region. The Chamber & CREDC has been accredited with five stars from the United States Chamber of Commerce.

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