Students advance with science fair projects

On Saturday, March 11, eleven students represented McNick at the annual Science and Engineering Expo at University of Cincinnati. The students, who were winners at the local level at the McNicholas Science Fair included sophomore Liz Huber and freshmen Erin Callahan, Katie Custer, Dominic Daley, Christopher Georgiades, Meechi Georgiades, Aidan Guessford, Abby Jarrold, Jack Munzel, Tara Rammel, and Matthew Szudejko.

McNick’s science fair was held on Jan. 25. Science Fair projects are a requirement for students in Biology.  Once projects are submitted in class, teachers Debbie Bonekamp and Mary Dennemann then chose students for McNick’s science fair where projects are further for judged by alumni and professionals in the science field. The judges chose eleven total students to go onto the UC Science Expo.

UC’s Science and Engineering Expo is for Butler, Clermont, Preble, and Warren County students in grades 5-12 who received superior ratings at their school’s science fairs. There are thousands of dollars of prizes and scholarships for high-scoring students. The top projects also qualify for the State Science Day in May in Columbus.

Biology and Environmental Science teacher Debbie Bonekamp believes science fair benefits students in the future. “I think that science fair helps students learn to speak in public. In the future, they will know how to talk to people in business settings. It also helps their thinking process since they are able to speak with flow from one idea to the next. They are also meeting other people who did the same thing as them, so they are able to talk and share ideas among themselves,” Bonekamp said.

Some students believe that the science fair will help them in the future. “It will be good for my college resume, and hopefully my public speaking. It might help me attain skills to prepare for bigger presentations later,” Daley said.

Rammel had similar ideas. “I think the biggest thing students get out of being in the McNick Science Fair and the UC Science Fair is learning how to present their ideas to others and learn to explain the findings from their project,” she said.

Several students won awards at the science fair on March 11. Callahan won $50 for the Shepherd Chemical Award in Biochemistry, Custer won $50 for the College of Nursing Research and Scholarly Activities Council Award, and Munzel won $50 for the Greater Cincinnati Amateur Radio Association Award. Guessford was a Buckeye State Fair Qualifier, and Custer was a State Science Fair Qualifier.

science fair
Eleven students represent McNick at the UC Science Fair held on March 11. Current Biology students created a project for their class. The top projects were chosen for the McNicholas Science Fair, followed by the UC Science Fair. Photo courtesy of University of Cincinnati.

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