Students present at 36th Annual Scioto County Science Day

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (Feb. 7, 2017) – More than 100 area students from grades 5-12 participated at the 36th Annual Scioto County Science Day, at Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Friends Center on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.

Science Day provides students an opportunity for display and evaluation of their own inquiry-based scientific research projects. This process helps students improve their 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, Notre Dame, New Boston, South Webster, Valley, West, and Wheelersburg schools.

In the first round of judging, students’ projects received 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. Dr. John Means from University of Rio Grande was a county judge and is a District Science Day Coordinator.

“I thought the students did quite well. It’s obvious at that point that they have gone through their local science fairs and scored well there to move on. So at the county level we’re getting the best of the science projects from local schools. The students did perform well overall, and I thought the students did accept critiques very well. Hopefully they’ll learn from those and make modifications before they move on to the district level,” Means said.

Receiving Superior ratings for their Team Projects were: Kyleigh Oliver and Bailey Howard of Clay Local Schools and Ryan Zaler and Levi Stewart of Valley Local Schools. Receiving Superior ratings for their Individual Projects were: Andrew Zuefle of Clay; Mychal Cron and Barrett Van Sickle of Minford; Madison Isaac of Notre Dame; Madison Russell of Portsmouth West; Nathan Hughes and Gabe Roof of South Webster; Emma Gahm of Valley; Haleigh Collier, Abyghale Jones, Rohit Kataria, Serena Kataria and Dev Patel of Wheelersburg. These students will have their District registration fees paid for by the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center’s Gifted Services Department.

Rohit Kataria, a ninth grader at Wheelersburg High School, presented his project on Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) medications used to suppress stomach acids in patients with digestive issues, but also carries negative side effects that can cause other health problems.

“A lot of these patients are being prescribed these medications when the problem has already been resolved. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, after about three months of taking this medication patients should start weaning off of it, and after one-year they should stop taking it altogether. I wanted to see how many of these patients are actually taking it for this extended time of one-year, since it’s really bad for them. I found that 89 percent of the people I had volunteer for my study were taking these PPIs for an extended amount of time,” Kataria said.

Students who received a Superior rating at either their own school’s Science Day or the Scioto County Science Day may advance to the District Science Day at the University of Rio Grande on Saturday, March 25, 2017. Students receiving a Superior rating at District Science Day then advance to State Science Day in Columbus in May.

“At the district level they’re going to be judged even more rigorously than they were at the county level,” Means said. “Each time they move up, you’re getting into projects that have been better-vetted so the judges are going to be expecting more of them at each higher level.”

Students at the county Science Day were also eligible to win various awards provided by sponsors of this event. The Scioto County Farm Bureau Award of $75 was presented to Andrew Brown of Wheelersburg. The Gahm’s Pharmacy Medicine and Health Award of $50 was awarded to Madison Russell of Portsmouth West. The Gahm’s Pharmacy II Medicine and Health Award of $50 was awarded to Rohit Kataria of Wheelersburg. SOMC Health and Wellness Awards of $200 each were awarded to Dev Patel of Wheelersburg, Aiden Donges and Ella Gullet of Portsmouth. The Spirit of Engineering Award of $25 was awarded to Kason Bauer of Valley. The Scioto Soil & Water Conservation District Award of $25 was awarded to Morgan Stiles of Portsmouth West.

The Top 5 ESC Special Recognition Award of $300 each were awarded to Dev Patel, Rohit Kataria and Serena Kataria of Wheelersburg, Barrett Van Sickle of Minford, and Emma Gahm of Valley.

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, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Scioto Smiles, Scioto Soil & Water Conservation District, Wagner Rental & Supply Inc., Wendy’s, Dr. Wayne and Mrs. Saundra Wheeler, and Robert and Elizabeth Wood.

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