The Ohio Academy of Science determined that Science Days would be held virtually for the second year due to restrictions related to the pandemic. Students were permitted to register directly to District 14 Science Day (without needing to participate in the Scioto County Science Day).
The South Central Ohio Service Center’s Gifted Services Department paid the registration fees for students to participate in District Science Day as a way of encouraging students to take part in this event. Students were required to create video presentations of their projects, submit research papers, and register with the Ohio Academy of Science in order to participate. Videos were 15 to 20 minutes in length and students were given prompts to help them with talking points. Volunteer judges from around the state were recruited to watch the videos and score students’ projects based on the following criteria: oral, written and visual communication, originality of project concept, experimental design, and depth of understanding. From this round of judging students received ratings of Superior, Excellent, Good, or Satisfactory.
Briar VanSickle and Kaiden Gampp of Minford, Lainey Cook and Viviana Wheeler of Notre Dame, and Donavon Ehrhart of Wheelersburg all received ratings of Excellent. Finley Noel and Chloe Lucas of Notre Dame and Serena Kataria, Addison Mullins, and Ethan Mullins of Wheelersburg received Superior ratings.
In the next round of judging local Scioto County sponsors watched the students’ videos to determine who would receive their Sponsor Awards and at the same time District 14 sponsors were determining their awards as well. Sharee Price, Gifted Services Coordinator at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, coordinated the efforts between the Ohio Academy of Science, District 14 Science Day coordinators, and local sponsors to award Scioto County students.
Scioto County Sponsor Awards went to the following: The Scioto County Farm Bureau Award of $100 was presented to Addison Mullins of Wheelersburg and the Scioto County Soil and Water Conservation District also selected Addison to receive their award of $50.
Special Recognition Awards of $300 each were presented to the following students who all received Superior ratings at the District 14 Science Day: Serena Kataria, Addison Mullins, and Ethan Mullins of Wheelersburg; and Chloe Lucas and Finley Noel of Notre Dame.
Certificates and medallions were provided for all Scioto County students who received Superior ratings at District 14 Science Day and awards from local sponsors. Locally this event was supported by William and Barbara Burke, Velma Feagans, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, Dr. Michael & Mrs. Mary Martin, Portsmouth Rotary Club, Scioto County Farm Bureau, Scioto County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Scioto Foundation, Shawnee Animal Clinic, Shawnee Nature Club, and SOMC.
District 14 Science Day is coordinated by Dr. John Means at the University of Rio Grande. District 14 Awards were presented to six Scioto County students. Addison Mullins was awarded the Water Environment Science Award of $100 and the Emerging Scientist Award in Earth & Biological Sciences in the amount of $50. Viviana Wheeler of Notre Dame won an Honorable Mention in the Emerging Scientist Award in Behavioral & Social Sciences category. Serena Kataria won an Emerging Scholar Award of $50 from the University of Rio Grande Honors Program. Ethan Mullins was awarded the OTTA College Advantage 529 Saving Plan Award in the form of a $250 Scholarship and Finley Noel and Chloe Lucas were chosen as alternates for this award.
Since Serena Kataria, Addison Mullins, Ethan Mullins, Chloe Lucas, and Finley Noel all received Superior ratings at District Science Day they are now eligible to advance to State Science Day, which will also be judged virtually. State Science Day results will be announced in June.