Students compete in first virtual State Science Day

PIQUA — Sixty-one students from 13 local school districts recently competed successfully in the first Online “Virtually Judged” Ohio Academy of Science State Science Day held in late May of this year. After 71 years of live State Science Day competitions, this year required an online platform due to the COVID-19 restrictions on large events. Approximately 800 students from across the state participated in the competition where a total of one-half million dollars was distributed as scholarships and awards. Students presented independent research projects in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. All of the local students did exceptionally well with twenty-three receiving superior scores.

Receiving Superior ratings were: Anna High School – Caleb Gaier, Taylor Kauffmann, Dylan Seigle; Holy Angels, Sidney – Valerie Rindler, Samantha Sargeant; Lehman Catholic High School, Sidney – John Brunner II, Lyndsey Jones; and Versailles High School – Lauren Menke, Ethan Varner.

Seventeen students earned special project awards totaling $3,500 and a renewable scholarships of $2,000 (up to four years). Additional awards and scholarships earned included: Anna High School – Taylor Kauffman, Governor’s Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in Biomedical Technologies, $250; Dylan Seigle, Dick Goddard Honorary Young Atmospheric Scientist Award, $1,000, Governor’s Thomas Edison Award for Advanced or Alternative Energy $250; Holy Angels Middle School – Valerie Rindler, Dr. Lynn E. Elfner Young Scientist Award $100; Versailles High School – Lauren Menke, Ohio University Bobcat Tuition Scholarship in Biological Sciences $500.

Upper Miami Valley Science Days provides the opportunity for students, grades 5-12, in Champaign, Darke, Miami and Shelby Counties, to complete and present original scientific research. This program is organized and supported by many area schools, teachers, parents, Edison Community College, Urbana University, and a number of businesses, professionals, community organizations, and other interested individuals. For additional information, go to the UMVSD website,