On Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, the 7th Annual Champaign County Science Day was held at Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University, for Champaign County students, grades 5-12. Eighteen students from Urbana Senior High School and Urbana Junior High School completed science research projects and presented their findings to area professionals, researchers and educators. Students, parents and teachers were welcomed to campus by Dr. Christopher Washington, Executive Vice President of Urbana University.
Astronaut teacher, Mr. Mike Mongo, joined the awards ceremony via video conference from Los Angeles, California, providing encouragement to the students as they continue their STEM research in the future. In addition to his encouragement, he gave examples of the exciting careers they might expect in the coming years.
The annual event offers students a venue that promotes the development of creative thinking, research and writing skills and career motivation toward the sciences, all in one program. Project topics may vary from biology, chemistry, botany, space and earth sciences, computers, zoology, microbiology, biochemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, medicine and health, and behavioral and social science.
“They have to start back in the fall developing the project, come up with an idea, they do some background research, kind of refine their idea, write a research plan that has to be approved, then they have to design and make their project poster,” said Dr. Martin English, organizer of the event. (Quote given to the Springfield News-Sun).
Five students received the highest rating of “Superior” from Urbana High School – Keelee VanHoose, Moriah Tavenner, Laken Ridgwell and Anna Selvaggio. From Urbana Junior High School – Joseph Lightle. These students are eligible to go to the District Science Day held at Edison State Community College in Piqua on Saturday, March 14. Students receiving a Superior rating at the district competition may go on to the statewide contest held at The Ohio State University in May.
Grand prize awards from Cargill included Keelee VanHoose in 1st place ($100), Moriah Tavenner in 2nd place ($50) and Laken Ridgwell and Anna Selvaggio in third place ($50).
Additional awards included:
- 100 Proof Press – Ink & Stem Stamps: Layla Nickell
- Boonshoft Museum of Discovery One Year Family Membership ($135): Naomi Loxley
- 100 Proof Press Award for Best Project in Chemistry ($50): Laken Ridgwell & Anna Slvaggio
- 100 Proof Press Award for Best Project in Physics ($50): Joseph Lightle
- Upper Miami Valley Science Award for Best Project in Engineering ($50): Keelee VanHoose
- Premier Health Award for Behavioral Science or Medicine & Health ($50): Liliana Talebi
- Shepherd Award in: Behavioral & Social Sciences ($25): Kayla Booze
- Shepherd Award in Medicine & Health Sciences ($25): Aubrie Burnside
- Shepherd Award in Chemistry ($25): Moriah Tavenner
- Shepherd Award in Plant Science ($25): Jonathan Hildebrand
- UMV Science Award for Best Presentation of Data ($50): Moriah Tavenner
- Premier Health - UVMC Award for Best Abstract ($50): Joseph Lightle
Event sponsors included Cargill, Premier Health, 100 Proof Press of St. Paris, Shepherd Awards, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, and Urbana University. Area professionals and community members volunteered to judge the projects, aided by area science teachers.
Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University, prepares students for successful and professional careers within a caring and supportive environment. Regionally well known for education and teacher preparation programs, Urbana was founded in 1850 and acquired by Franklin in 2014. Urbana’s 128-acre, residential campus nestled in heart of Ohio provides a background for students actively engaged in campus activities through 20 student-led academic, professional, performing arts, social and service organizations. Blue Knights athletics includes 17 NCAA Division II sports and three intercollegiate club sports. Urbana University is a division of Franklin University, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.