Science Fair Projects are not everyone’s favorite memory of their school days, but many of our local kids find Science interesting and curiously look into things, they might never do otherwise.
Ninety-six students from ten area schools, grades 5-12 participated at the 37th Annual Scioto County Science Day, at the SOMC Friends Center on Friday, February, 2, 2018.
Science Day provides students an opportunity for display and evaluation of their own inquiry-based scientific research projects. This process helps students improve their own in-depth knowledge of science, develop communication skills, improve organizational abilities and develop their creativity and problem-solving skills.
Students participated from Clay, Green, Minford, New Boston, Notre Dame, Portsmouth, South Webster, Valley, West, and Wheelersburg schools.
In the first round of judging, students’ projects receive a rating of Superior, Excellent, Good, or Satisfactory from a team of judges. Judging panels are comprised of volunteers who are experienced in the field of science and/or education. At this point, projects are judged using the Ohio Academy of Science criteria including: knowledge achieved, use of scientific method, clarity of expression and originality and creativity.
In the second round of judging students projects are judged for both Sponsorship awards and Special Recognition Awards. Sponsors determine their own judging criteria to determine their awards. The Special Recognition Awards are determined by judges revisiting all projects that received a Superior rating in order to compare them to one another. The Ohio Academy of Science criteria are still used, but now projects are compared to each other.
Evan Mercer, director of technology at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, was invited to judge technology projects at this year’s Scioto County Science Day.
“I was extremely impressed,” Mercer said. “I learned a lot; and when you get to the root of why we do this, I think that should be the reason. Even as an adult it’s pretty neat to say I learned something from these kids.”
Sponsor Awards went to the following:
The Scioto County Farm Bureau Award of $100 was presented to Luke Oakes of Minford.
The Gahm’s Pharmacy Medicine and Health Award of $50 was awarded to Rohit Kataria of Wheelersburg.
The Gahm’s Pharmacy II Medicine and Health Award of $50 was awarded to Serena Kataria of Wheelersburg.
SOMC Health and Wellness Awards of $200 each were awarded to Dev Patel and Drew Willis of Wheelersburg and Katie Born of Portsmouth.
The Spirit of Engineering Award (sponsored by Robert and Elizabeth Wood) was awarded to Haleigh Collier of Wheelersburg.
The Top 5 ESC Special Recognition Awards of $300 each were awarded to Rachel Davenport, Andrew Brown, Haleigh Collier, Serena Kataria and Rohit Kataria — all of Wheelersburg.
Speaking with Andrew Brown, he said that he also competed last year also and was able to place well in his school, county, and district Science Fairs. “I was able to earn a Superior rating in competition at the State Science Day at The Ohio State University.”
The title of Brown’s project this year was, ‘Can you use pregnancy specific protein B to determine gestation in cattle?’ “We used blood samples to see how long the cows in our herd had been bred. We raise show cattle with a small herd of cows and we try to raise our own show calves, so it is very important for us to know if our cows are having calves or not and how long they have been bred.” Brown also said he started on this project in May of 2017, when they started breeding their cows and putting in embryos.
When asked if he liked the Science Fair, Brown said, “Yes, the best part was getting out of school all day and winning the prize money.” As he received a Superior rating and won $300 for getting one of five special recognition awards.
Brown is in 6th grade at Wheelersburg Middle School and says science is fun, but his favorite subject is Math.
Carly Thoroughman, a sixth grade student from Minford, says that this is her first year placing in the Scioto County Science Fair, but that she did compete last year. The title of Thoroughman’s project was ‘From Gas to Grass,’ What Effects do bananas and vegetable peelings have on cow manure and the Production of Biogas? Thoroughman said, “I cam up with the idea after researching some older projects done about composting and global warming. I was interested to see if everyday things made a difference in biogas production and wondered if you could measure it.”
Thoroughman, who too, scored a superior rating, said that her project took about two weeks in total to do the project and one week to allow the gases to form with the different ingredients mixed with fresh dairy cow manure from Risner’s farm. “It was a smelly project.”
She said that the Science Fair is a long day, but that she enjoyed meeting people from other schools. Her favorite part of the Fair, was actually doing the experiment.
Students who receive a Superior rating at their own school’s Science Day, and also the 14 Superior students from the Scioto County Science Day may advance to District Science Day at the University of Rio Grande on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Students receiving a Superior rating at District Science Day then advance to State Science Day in Columbus on May 12, 2018.
State Science Day is the high point of student-based scientific research and in 2018 will be entering its 70th year.
The event was coordinated by Gifted Services Coordinator Sharee Price, of the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center. Sponsors for the event were Gahm’s Pharmacy, Gahm’s Pharmacy II, Portsmouth Rotary Club, Scioto County Farm Bureau, Scioto Foundation, Shawnee Nature Club, Southern Ohio Medical Center, StaBo Construction Limited, Wendy’s Dr. Wayne and Mrs. Saundra Wheeler and Robert and Elizabeth Wood.
Keeping curious minds open to new things, that’s what schools want to do their best, this is a great example of our local schools doing just that.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext.1928