Ashley Hoehn (center) started what has become her career choice at the Putnam County Science Fair. She has come full circle, from being a science fair participant to being a science fair judge. Hoehn and Sr. Marcille Liebrecht (right) listened to Sydney Eickholt, an eighth grade student at Continental, present her project, “Color v. Color.” The 60th Annual Putnam County Science Fair was held Saturday at Glandorf Elementary School. (Putnam Sentinel/Becky Leader)
GLANDORF — Ashley Hoehn, a 2010 Ottoville High School graduate,
launched her career at the Putnam County Science Fair. When she was in
the eighth grade, Hoehn started a project, “The Effects of Cinnamon on
Diabetes.” Her hypothesis was that people who suffered from diabetes
would benefit from taking a daily dose of cinnamon. The youngster
provided 20 subjects with a capsule containing one gram of the spice,
which they took for three months. Hoehn was able to conclude that the
cinnamon was effective, as the subjects’ blood sugar was reduced by 20
Over the next five years, she refined and modified the
venture. During her junior and senior years of high school, she was
invited to present her project at the Intel International Science and
Engineering Fair (ISEF). She was one of 1,600 winners of various science
fair competitions from 70 countries that participated in a week-long
celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math. Hoehn
traveled to Reno, Nevada and San Jose, California, to share her
knowledge. “It was a fantastic experience,” she recalled. “I got to see
what students from other countries were doing. I felt insignificant
because they were finding cures for cancer or making prosthetic limbs
from household items.”
She was awarded $250,000 in scholarships as
a result of her project. “I didn’t take a penny—I didn’t want to attend
those schools,” she declared.
Hoehn is now a senior at Ohio
Northern University, majoring in pharmacy. “My project definitely helped
me choose my career,” she said.
In December 2012, Hoehn and her
academic advisor, Amy Stockert, published a paper, “The Effects of
Cinnamomum Cassia on Blood Glucose Values are Greater than those of
Dietary Changes Alone,” on the National Center for Biotechnology
Information web site.
This year, Hoehn came full circle and was a
judge at the 60th Annual Putnam County Science Fair on Feb. 8. This
year’s event took place at Glandorf Elementary School.
“It was a
great experience,” she related. “It reminded me where I was at that age.
I love seeing students take an interest in something scientific.”
She also was a featured speaker prior to the awards ceremony.