RIO GRANDE — The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College and the Gallia-Vinton Educational Service Center (ESC) recently hosted the annual Southern Ohio District 14 Science Day, on the university’s main campus.
Around 124 students in fifth through twelfth grades from across Gallia, Lawrence, Pike, and Scioto counties presented a total of 105 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.
“We were very pleased to see an increased number of students this year and two new schools getting involved with District Science Day. It is encouraging to see the work that the students and teachers put into developing and completing high quality science projects, and the effort definitely showed this year with 34 projects qualifying for State Science Day which is nine more projects than last year,” 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 the support from the Rio community to allow us to host this event. We look forward to next year.”
Means said he is grateful for the support and sponsorship of Holzer Health System, Fluor-BWXT, Hopewell Health Centers, Gallipolis Rotary, and R&R Tent Rental as well as the campus community. The students were vying for over 33 awards, which had a combined value of more than $3,600, that were presented at the end of the event. One of these awards, the Rio Grande Science Day Scholarship, was awarded to Wheelersburg High School student Rohit Kataria. 36 students and 34 projects qualified for the State Science Day, May 11, while six students and five projects qualified for the Buckeye Science & Engineering Fair, April 6, which provides students with a path to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.