3/11/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – A total of 279 students from 42 schools are expected to converge on the Ashland University campus Saturday, March 22, for the 54th annual Mohican District Science Day. Sponsored by the Mohican District Junior Division of the Ohio Academy of Science, the event will be held in Ashland University’s John C. Myers Convocation Center.
According to Dr. Michael Hudson, associate professor of geology at Ashland University and Science Day director, projects that received superior ratings in local school district science fairs will be displayed at the district fair. The students participating will represent high schools, junior high/middle schools and fifth and sixth grades in eight different counties: Ashland, Erie, Holmes, Huron, Lorain, Medina, Richland and Wayne.
“We are very pleased with the total number of students and the number of participating schools this year,” Hudson said. “Students do hands-on experiments, collect and analyze data and draw conclusions, rather than just reading and reporting what someone else has done. Many projects are very original or creative, and this activity provides them with exposure to what scientists actually do, which may then help them decide on a career in the sciences.”
The public is invited to view the science projects from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Registration for the day begins at 7:30 a.m., with judging to start at 9 a.m. Awards will be presented during a public ceremony at 2 p.m.
The top 87 projects at the district level from students in grades 5-12 will be eligible to advance to the state competition at The Ohio State University on May 10, but Hudson noted that an additional 15 will be alternates and many of those also will be given this opportunity. This year there will be over 4 million dollars in scholarships and awards given away at the State Science Day.
Hudson said this year’s event will feature a presentation by Dr. Lynn Elfner, the CEO emeritus of the Ohio Academy of Science. Elfner will speak to students, parents and teachers at the awards ceremony at 2 p.m. on the topic of “Pathways to STEM Careers: Persistence Pays Off.”
This year’s event also will include approximately 127 local judges and volunteers from education, industry, business and medical professions. “We cannot do this event without the help of all of our volunteers and the facilities and support provided by Ashland University,” he said.
Hudson also thanked Council President Jeff Steele of Mapleton High School, the 12 Mohican District Council members, volunteers who work in a variety of capacities prior to and throughout the day, and Eileen Raubenolt, Science Day secretary, for the countless hours they contribute to the success of the annual event.
He also stressed that, “this event would not be a successful and rewarding experience for our local students without the hard work and commitment of science teachers and the support of their school districts in fostering increased science, technology, engineering, and mathematics literacy.”
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###