Judges at the Putnam County Science Fair listen on Saturday as a students talks about his project. (Putnam Sentinel/Steven Coburn-Griffis)
Judges at the Putnam County Science Fair listen on Saturday as a students talks about his project. (Putnam Sentinel/Steven Coburn-Griffis)
KALIDA — On Saturday, Feb. 11, Kalida High School was the site for the 63rd Annual Putnam County Science Fair hosted by the Putnam County Educational Service Center. 119 student participants made presentations to 44 judges and over 60 awards were distributed. Former five-year Putnam County Science Fair participant and 2016 International Science & Engineering Fair Finalist, Karenna Langhals of Columbus Grove, gave a wonderful presentation on the positive rewards and college & career opportunities in which science fair can play a key role.

The following students earned a Perfect Score and Superior Rating for their science projects: Chad Schnipke, Heaven Ross and Alyson Saxton from Ottoville and Megan Ketner from Glandorf. Congratulations to those students for their amazing achievements.

There were a total of 58 Superior Ratings earned, which include: Grace Gamble, Faith Gamble, Peyton Wurth, Alayna Leis, Mackenna Stechschulte, Lauren Boggs, Anna Siefker, William Horstman, Alexis Sanders, Lydia Will, Hannah Verhoff, Alejah Martinez, Bailey Eickholt, Molly Westrick, Chance Fry, Aneesa Langhals, Jevin Langhals, William Miller, Grant Boecker, Cole Nienberg, Hunter Tegenkamp, Chandler Giesswein, Leah Schnipke, Brooke Hellman, Jaden Lehman, Ewen Warman, Caleb Stechschulte, Ashley Sonnenberg, Connor Haselman, Logan Stechschulte, Hannah Schroeder, Jacob Swyers, Chloe Fields, William Lucas, Allie Honigford, Mckenzie Langhals, Hannah Brinkman, Ella Meyers, Hannah Morman, Grade Niemeyer, Kelsey Erford, Cole Furley, Matt Schneeg, Caden Edelbrock, Nicole Knippen, Jeremy Demuth, Madelyn Schroeder, Gavin Hedrick, Eric Weiging, Sydney Brinkman, Carter Schnipke, Sydnie Siebeneck, Kenzie Fortman, Will Kaufman, Megan Ketner, Heaven Ross, Alyson Saxton and Chad Schnipke.

Through the support of local sponsors, numerous plaques and cash prizes were awarded in 28 different categories. Advanced Scientist Challenge Award, sponsored by Jed & Mary Osborn & Ball Corporation, was awarded to Bailey Eickholt from Kalida High School. Jed & Mary Osborn & Ball Corporation also sponsored awards for Young Scientist Challenge and Outstanding Team Project. The Young Scientist Challenge Award went to Roy Langhals, St. Anthony, and the Outstanding Team Project Award was given to the team of Heaven Ross & Alyson Saxton from Ottoville. Agricultural Awards were won by Dru Hilvers, Ottoville, and Kylie Creller, Kalida. Those awards were sponsored by Ottawa Feed and Grain Company, Inc. The Behavioral Science/Medicine Awards, sponsored by Pathways Counseling Center, went to Makenna Stechschulte and Savanna Siebeneck, both from Ft. Jennings. Town and Country Flowers sponsored two Botany Awards given to Connor Haselman, Glandorf and Chandler Giesswein, Glandorf. There were four Chemistry Awards won. Two of those awards, sponsored by Tucker’s Pharmacy, went to Mackenzie Langhals, St. Anthony, and Blake Eickholt, Kalida. The other two Chemistry awards, sponsored by Wal-Mart Pharmacy, were won by Ft. Jennings students Jack Sellman and Chloe Fields. Conservation awards, sponsored by the Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation, were won by Hunter Tegenkamp, Glandorf and Caleb Stechschulte, St. Anthony. The Quarry Farm Nature Preserve and Conservation Farm sponsored a Conservation Award that went to Megan Ketner, Glandorf, for her project titled Phosphorus Contamination in the Blandard River. A Dairy Award, sponsored by Leipsic Veterinary Service, was awarded to Caleb Bailey, Glandorf, concluding that milk improves concentration. The Putnam County Health Department sponsored a Dental Award won by Madelyn Schroeder from Glandorf. The family of Jim Kieffer generously sponsored eight awards. These include the Ecological Conservation Awards won by Kaleb Gillespie, Leipsic, and Cole Furley, Ottoville. Effective Use of Scientific Method won by Sydnie Siebeneck, Ft. Jennings, and Mackenzie Langhals, St. Anthony. Originality & Creativity Awards were earned by Kiersten Kemper, Ottoville, and Zoey Westrick, Kalida. Outstanding Presentation Awards went to Megan Ketner, Glandorf, and Chad Schnipke, Ottoville. Two Energy Awards, sponsored by Dominion, were given to Will Kaufman, Glandorf, and Grace Niemeyer, Kalida. Technicon Design Group sponsored two Engineering Awards won by Kalida students Ryan Klausing and Brandt Brinkman. Harold Gerten of PreTalen, Inc. handed another Engineering Award to Ottoville student Cole Furley. The Environmental Award that went to Jeremy Demuth, Miller City High School, was sponsored by Glandorf Warehouse, Inc. Two additional Environmental Awards, sponsored by Crop Production Services, were earned by Matt Schneeg, Glandorf, and Kaleb Gillespie, Leipsic. The Putnam County Medical Association sponsored two Medical Awards and those were won by Bailey Eickholt, Kalida, and Carter Schnipke, Ottoville. The Nutrition/Fitness/Health Awards, sponsored by the Putnam County Health Department, went to Glandorf student Gavin Hedrick and Kalida student Madison Kahle. The Retired Teachers of Putnam County sponsored two awards for Outstanding Report. The Outstanding Report Award winners include Ottoville students Chad Schnipke and Allie Honigford. A Physics Award, sponsored by Ottoville Hardware & Furniture Company, was earned by Jacob Balbaugh from Glandorf. St. Rita’s Putnam County Ambulatory Care Center sponsored two Physiology/Human Health Awards that went to Molly Westrick, Kalida, and Ben Horstman, Ottoville. The Sight Related Awards, sponsored by Glandorf Lions Club and Ottawa Lions Club, were given to Nathan Schroeder and Brooke Vennekotter, both Kalida students. A Solid Waste Management Award, sponsored by the Putnam County Commissioners, was awarded to Jeremy Demuth, Miller City, for his project titled The Effect of Sand Column on Phosphorus Levels in Wastewater. Glandorf student, Will Kaufman, earned the Technology Award sponsored by Log On Computers. Megan Ketner and Matt Schneeg, both Glandorf students, were the winners of the Water Quality Awards, sponsored by the Blanchard River Watershed Project.

Congratulations to all of the students on a very successful Putnam County Science Fair. The next steps for students who will continue on can include the Regional Science Fair, held on March 4 at Northwest State Community College. At Regionals, students can then compete for a spot at the International Science & Engineering Fair in Los Angeles. Many students will also participate in the District Science Fair on Saturday, March 18, at Ohio Northern University. Upon qualification at Districts, students would then be able to take part in the State Science Day at The Ohio State University on May 13. Best of luck to all of the students who are moving on.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, teachers, judges, volunteers, local school districts, and parents for making the Putnam County Science Fair a success and thank you for your commitment to our youth.

Judges included Marilyn Calvelage, Susan Jones, Bob Riepenhoff, Dr. Matt Kinkley, Dan VonderEmbse, Harold Gerten, Becky Leader, Dave Leader, Bob Gerdeman, Lynn Beining, Brendon Hovest, Kevin Blake, Tom Beining, Mike Jones, Roger Luersman, Bonnie Brooks, Keith Schierloh, Dr. Roger Minier, Steve Hilvers, Tom Diehl, Jacob Honigford, Kelly Horstman, Rick Carder, Pat Recker, Ron Honigford, Brian Schroeder, Roger VonderEmbse, John Love, Sarah Rieman, Shane Coleman, Alicia Nussbaum, Sharon Nussbaum, Jeanne Wehri, Pam Oglesbee, Al Hueve, Adam Schnipke, Mike Lammers, Rod Nuveman, Tim Wehri, Stephen Palte, Jeff Jostpille, Heather Harmon, Scott Hoff, Nancy Kroeger, Rita Schnipke.

A special thank you to the administration and staff of Kalida Local Schools for hosting the 2017 Putnam County Science Fair, including Karl Lammers, Superintendent, Chris Pfahler, High School Principal, Kathy Verhoff, Elementary Principal, Jeremy Okuley, Technology Director, and teachers Robb Schultz, Darla Warnecke, Beth Grime, Allison Luderman, Emily Maag, and Wendy Stechschulte. Additional thanks goes to the cafeteria staff, janitorial staff and student volunteers at Kalida.

Thank you to the Kalida Band Boosters for providing concessions. Finally, a special thanks goes to Norm Schnipke, Deb Schroeder, Marita Deatrick, Gary Herman, Alex Hughes, and Dr. Jan Osborn for all of their assistance and support throughout the Science Fair.