On Saturday, March 28, 2015, Youngstown State University hosted the annual Lake to River (District 15) Science Day for students in the 5th through 12th grades. 100 students from Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties showed off their science prowess with 95 submitted projects. Lake to River Science Day was hosted by the College of STEM at YSU and sanctioned by the Ohio Academy of Science.
These projects were chosen from local schools’ science fairs. Projects at schools which received a rating of superior or higher were eligible for Lake to River Science Day. Out of the 95 projects, 46 received a rating of superior and are eligible to compete at State Science Day in Columbus on May 16.
Dr. Stephen Rodabaugh, Associate Dean of STEM and director of the event, said that the overall quality of the projects this year surpassed those of previous years and that there was a significant increase in donation of prizes. Prizes amounted to over $3,500—$3,200 being cash.
Annabelle Himes from Willowcreek Learning Center won the top middle school prize with her project “Which Decaffeinated Tea Type Contains the Least Amount of Caffeine;” Anastasia Johnson, a tenth grader from Canfield High School, won the top high school prize with her project “Environmental Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Water;” and Alyssa Armstrong, a senior at Canfield High School, won best in show with her project “Using Isotherms to Examine Competitive Sorption of Heavy Metals by Soil.”
Lake to River Science Day introduces these middle and high school students to peer review: each project has at least two judges assigned by the Lake to River Science Day Council. These projects also address other core elements of learning, such as organization, grammar, inquiry, the scientific method, and oral presentation skills.