Approximately 200 students from 34 area schools will converge on the Ashland University campus Saturday, March 19, for the 56th annual Mohican District Science Day. Sponsored by the Mohican District of the 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 in eight adjacent north central Ohio counties will be displayed at the district fair. The students participating will represent high schools, junior high/middle schools and fifth and sixth grades from Ashland, Erie, Holmes, Huron, Lorain, Medina, Richland and Wayne counties.
“We are very pleased with the total number of students and the number of participating schools in this intellectual enterprise given all of the other competing activities for our youth,” Hudson said. “Students do hands-on experiments as they collect and analyze data and draw conclusions, rather than just reading and reporting on what someone else has done. Many projects are very original or creative, and this activity provides students with exposure to what scientists actually do, which may then help them decide on a career in the sciences, which has an incredibly high demand for the foreseeable future.”
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 79 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 14, but Hudson noted that an additional 15 will be alternates and many of those also will be given this opportunity.
This year’s event also will include approximately 100 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 the 15 Mohican District Council members, volunteers who work in a variety of capacities prior to and throughout the day, and Jeff Steele, Council President, and the director’s assistant, for the countless hours they contribute to the success of this 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 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) literacy.”