PUTNAM COUNTY — Twenty Putnam County students participated in State Science Day on Saturday, May 10. State Science Day at the Ohio State University in Columbus is the pinnacle of student originated, inquiry-based science education for Ohio’s students. Over 1,200 students in grades 5-12 from across the state competed for $4 million in scholarships available in State Science Fair competition. Competing were students from over 300 schools across the State of Ohio.

Students, teachers, and administrators representing five Putnam County schools were present in Columbus for the 66th Annual State Science Fair competition. Of the twenty students who presented their work for evaluation by judges, eight received scores in the category of superior, and eleven received scores of excellent, and one received a score of good.

Representing Fort Jennings Local Schools were Rachael Luersman, Griffin Morman, Zachary Piasecki and Makenna Ricker. They are mentored by their teachers Heather Harmon and Jeff Jostpile. Griffin Morman received a second place certificate from The Ohio State University Department of Plant Pathology.

Representing Miller City-New Cleveland Local School at State Science Day were Jeremy DeMuth, Makenna Lehman, Emily Niese, Emma Recker, Abigail Schroeder, Dominic Schroeder and Madison Schroeder. Their teachers are Toni Rieger and Dustin Pester and Gina Schnipke. Jeremy DeMuth earned third place from Ohio Water Environment Association which consisted of a certificate and a $200 check. Jeremy’s project also earned him an entry in the Society for Science & The Public and Broadcom MASTERS competition.

Representing Ottoville Local School were Abigail Hilvers and Brittany Schleeter. These students are mentored by their teachers Jeanne Bockey and Alicia Haselman. Abigail earned a first place certificate in the 7-9 category from Ohio Development Services Agency. Brittany earned first place from Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane, Inc. which consisted of $1,000 cash award. Representing St. Anthony of Padua Elementary School were Taylor Ellerbrock, Rob Langhals, Michael Morman and Zachary Warnecke. These students are supported by their teacher Deb Dulle. Representing Sacred Heart Homeschool of Columbus Grove were Aneesa Langhals, Garrett Langhals and Karenna Langhals. These students are mentored by their teacher Pat Langhals. Karenna earned first place from The Ohio State University, College of Medicine and Public Health and OSU Health Systems which consisted of $500 award. She also won the first place award in the field of Biomedical research/bioengineering and $400 from OSERA.

Following a year or more of scientific work on their projects, students are evaluated in four major categories including knowledge achieved, use of the scientific method, clarity of expression, and originality/creativity. It is a monumental task for students to not only make it to State Science Fair, but to compete with such success. It takes many hours of dedication to prepare for this event by not only students, but also parents (and other adult mentors), teachers and school administration to complete this year of science work.