Big Walnut nets 6 Superiors at annual State Science Day

By Lenny C. Lepola

June 4, 2014

To say the students from the Big Walnut Local School District do well at State Science Day each year is an understatement; and according to Big Walnut High School Environmental Science teacher Matt Wallschlaeger, 2014 has been one of the better years at state since he became involved with science fair almost 25 years ago.

What’s most telling about science research interest by Big Walnut students is the range of grades involved in this year’s State Science Day qualifiers — one high school senior, one junior, two freshmen, a seventh grader, and nine fifth grade students qualified for state.

While at the May 10 State Science Day, Big Walnut High School senior Jesse Rines earned an Excellent rating with his research project, Grätzel Cells: Optimization for the Future of Energy.

Kyle Davis (a junior) tested Microbiota in Tree Swallow Nests in the bird boxes surrounding the high school; his brother Marcus Davis (a freshman) developed a low-cost, but effective Magic Halo that discourages invasive sparrows from destroying nests of other bird species using the boxes.

Kyle and Marcus both earned Superior ratings. Kyle also earned a scholarship to attend the Stone Lab Research Center at Put-In-Bay for one week during the summer; and Marcus earned a First Place from the Chapter of Wildlife Society, an invitation to display a poster at a Department of Natural Resources conference, and received a certificate and plaque from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Freshman Abbie Myers’ project, Aquatic Oil Spill Clean-up, Non-Quiescent Conditions, also received a Superior rating.

Abbie received a First Place from the Society of Petroleum Engineers that came with $300 dollars and a plaque, and an Honorable Mention from the Ohio Geological Society that netted another $50.

Big Walnut Middle School seventh grade student Faith Myers, Abbie’s sister, received a Superior rating for her project, Flame Temperatures in Wood Burning Fires: Hardwood vs. Softwood, and an Honorable Mention from the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

From Big Walnut Intermediate School, fifth grade students Jake Ross and Jaden Partlow earned Superior ratings with their projects; and Partlow received a $500 award from the Ohio State College of Dentistry.