Joshua Leshinskie, winner of the Berks’ Best 2022 Science and Environment award

Joshua Leshinskie has always been filled with questions.

For as long as he can remember, he’s been curious about how things work, why things are the way they are.

This desire for answers shaped much of his young life. This is why the 18-year-old has developed a deep love for science and engineering.

And that helped him excel in those areas. So much so that the Boyertown high schooler has been recognized for his achievements in scientific excellence across the reading eagle‘s Berks’ Best Scholarship Program 2022.

“Science is about learning new things, testing new ideas, and solving problems,” he said. “Science really reinforces that being curious is a good thing and asking questions is a good thing.”

And, he said, he likes that you can take broad scientific concepts like gravity or momentum that you can learn about in a book and see them work in very tangible ways through experiments.

During those years, some of those experiments involved building infrastructure like a bridge, building a hovercraft, creating a system that removes bacteria from water, designing a utility method which generates power, making a pulley system to improve crafting abilities, and assembling a birdhouse in a way that gives people a new perspective.

More recently, Leshinskie has turned to environmental science.

He said his time in the great outdoors as a Scout opened his eyes to the very real impact of climate change which will continue to erode the natural resources we so often take for granted.

“It can be really scary to see the damage we’ve done in such a short time,” he said.

Leshinskie said he was delighted to receive the Berks’ Best award for his scientific contributions.

“I was overjoyed when I found out I had won because science was my life,” he said.

Leshinskie added that he knows many Berks County students deserve recognition for their scientific prowess and considers himself lucky to have had dedicated teachers who encouraged him to pursue his passion.

One of these teachers is Gayathri Swaminathan.

As a physics teacher at Boyertown, Swaminathan challenged Leshinskie to imagine ways to apply his extensive classroom teaching to the real world. And, he said, he was impressed with how his student went above and beyond to meet those challenges.

“He’s always ready to learn,” Swaminathan wrote in a glowing letter about Leshinskie’s value in his class. “I have no doubt that he will continue to strive for excellence in college and later in life.”

As for the future, Leshinskie will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall to study engineering. He said his dream was to create a convenient and inexpensive source of renewable energy.

“The goal is to use my upbringing to really benefit the world,” he said. “People say you have to dream big, so I’m going to start with the biggest dream I can imagine and we’ll see where I end up. But I know I want to work for a company someday or start my own business which is truly passionate about clean energy and shaping the world for the better.