RIO GRANDE — The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College and the Gallia-Vinton Educational Service Center (ESC) hosted the annual Southern Ohio District 14 Science Day, on the university’s main campus. 117 students in 5th through 12th grades from across Gallia, Lawrence, Pike, and Scioto counties presented a total of 98 projects at the event.
District 14 Co-Director and Rio Chemistry Program Coordinator John Means said it was exciting to see so many young students getting involved in scientific research.
“I enjoyed seeing the hard work the students put into their projects. It’s great to see these young minds getting excited about science. They all have the talent to go far in the STEM fields. Participating in something like a science fair gives these students the chance to use their natural curiosity to explore their interests beyond what they learn in the classroom,” Means said. “Science Day gives us the chance to continue engaging with our community and supporting community functions, and it gives the students a chance to come and see our campus. I believe hosting these kinds of events are the things every university should be doing. It is part of our responsibility to provide a hub for the community and show support for local schools.”
Faculty and students from Rio’s science programs served among the judges for the event. Means said the faculty and students of the science departments were eager to meet students and see their presentations.
“Our faculty and Rio students enjoyed getting to meet with these young scientists and talk about their projects. This event gives us the opportunity to interact with youth from surrounding counties that we don’t usually get to meet,” Means said. “Everyone involved put in countless hours to make sure everything was ready for Saturday. I am grateful for the dedication students, faculty, staff and volunteers put into making Science Day a success, and we look forward to next year.”
Means said he is grateful for the support and sponsorship of Holzer Health System, Fluor-BWXT, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Gallipolis Rotary, and R&R Tent Rental as well as the campus community. The students were vying for over 34 awards, which had a combined value of more than $3,700, that were presented at the end of the event. One of these awards, the Rio Grande Science Day Scholarship, was awarded to Fairland High School student Sebastian Davies. Twenty-eight students and 25 projects for State Science Day qualified for the State Science Day, May 12, while 12 students and 10 projects qualified for the Buckeye Science & Engineering Fair, April 7, which provides students with a path to the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair.