Elementary and …

Elementary and secondary students compete in OSU Science Olympiad Tournament

By Amy Mittinger

mittinger.1@osu.edu

Published: Sunday, April 18, 2010

Updated: Sunday, April 18, 2010

Elementary and secondary school students from 80 schools throughout Ohio competed Saturday in the Ohio State Science Olympiad Tournament.

The tournament allowed some competitors, in grades seven through 12, to qualify for the national tournament.

Lynn Rathke, OSU program assistant, helped coordinate the event, which was held at 25 different locations on campus.

“We’re really excited about having over 1,500 middle and high school students on campus,” Rathke said. “They’re excited about coming to campus but they’re also very bright, so it’s a great experience for them as well as for Ohio State.”

The French Field House was the sight of four events, in which students built models to withstand gravity and sustain motion. The airplane competition required students to build model airplanes that fly for as long as possible.

Thomas Strewbik of Toledo said his goal was simply to make his plane fly upward. He and his father, Oliver, said they were anxious to see what the events of the day had in store for them.

The helicopter competition was similar to the airplane competition. 
The goal was to keep two pinwheels, placed on either side of a wooden stick, in flight for the longest time.

Other students participated in the trajectory competition, which required them to launch a tennis ball from machines they built onto a target pad approximately 5 feet in front of them.

The fourth event in the Field House was the junkyard challenge. This event required teams of four students to create a device within 30 minutes that would set off four mouse traps when a golf ball was rolled into it. The team that set off all four mouse traps in the time closest to a minute would win the competition.

“It’s fantastic to use real science and apply it,” Anne Kimmins said while watching her son compete in the junkyard challenge. “This takes it beyond what a typical teacher can do in the classroom.”

Just outside the field house, students participated in an event that required them to complete individual physical activities while simultaneously answering science-related questions. Cameron Spencer, a seventh-grade science teacher at the West Liberty Salem School District, said he was proud to watch his students excel.

“We’re just a country school, but we work hard. We’re very competitive,” he said.

One new addition to the competition this year was the egg-a-thon competition, held at the Lincoln Tower Park Fields. Students were required to store and protect an egg inside of a 2-liter bottle so that it would not break when the bottle was shot up from a small cannon and fell back to the ground.

Gail Yacyshyn, a 10th-grade student, said she was glad to learn from this event.

“I’m a sophomore and studying ornithology, so it prepares me,” she said.

Each event ended by 3 p.m., giving the event coordinators time to compile awards for the ceremony at 7 p.m. in the French Field House.

Student participants anxiously awaited their school’s name to be called for an award in their category, while parents and teachers observed from the bleachers. The top six schools in each competition were awarded with medals, and the top three winners in each division went on to receive trophies. The top two winners in each division will advance to the national tournament at the University of Illinois this summer.  

 

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OSU EcoCAR team…

OSU EcoCAR team to reveal re-engineered GM vehicle

By Amy Mittinger

mittinger.1@osu.edu

Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Updated: Thursday, April 29, 2010

The OSU EcoCAR team’s re-engineered GM vehicle will be revealed Friday.

The Ohio State EcoCAR team will reveal its completed electric vehicle to the media at 3 p.m. Friday during the OSU Motorsports Open House.

General Motors donated a vehicle to the cause this year. The team was required to re-engineer its given vehicle to minimize its energy consumption and reduce gas emissions into the air.

Sam Spofforth, executive director of Clean Fuels Ohio, is the keynote speaker for the event. Spofforth is expected to give a presentation about the environmental benefits of electric vehicles.

The team’s vehicle will then be revealed for all audiences to observe its construction while the student team demonstrates the vehicle’s functions.

“The design we made is an extended range electric vehicle — it can generate electricity to drive 40 miles without charging,” said Justin Ford, a fourth-year in engineering.

Ford also said he is anxious to show off the team’s invention during the national competition, called EcoCAR: The Next Challenge. Only 16 colleges in North America will participate in the event, located in Yuma, Ariz.

“It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top,” he said. “I don’t know what to expect, but in the past, we’ve always been near the top.”

All students are welcome to witness the initial unveiling of the EcoCAR from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday at the OSU Center for Automotive Research, located at 930 Kinnear Road.

Elementary and …

Elementary and secondary school students win awards, scholarships with science experiments

By Amy Mittinger

mittinger.1@osu.edu

Published: Sunday, May 9, 2010

Updated: Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ohio State hosted the 62nd annual State Science Day on Saturday at the French Field House. More than 1,000 students in grades 5 to 12 throughout Ohio came to display their science experiments to a panel of judges in the hopes of receiving awards and college scholarships.

Lynn Elfner, CEO of the Ohio Academy of Science, said he was eager to begin the day’s events.

“We want everyone to have a fun time, and hopefully see that learning is fun,” he said.

Elfner explained that students with special needs or physical disabilities were still able to compete.

“As long as they’re qualified, we want them here,” he said.

Students were only qualified for the state tournament if they competed and won at the county level. Their project was then placed into one of the five categories at the state fair: environmental, cancer research, nanotechnology, behavior or alternative energy.

One-hundred and fifty volunteer judges began evaluating their assigned category at 9 a.m. Students anxiously awaited their judge to arrive and rate their project on a numerical scale. The scores were then rated as good, excellent or superior.

Student William Qu admitted he was nervous to receive his score, but said he was still proud of his project.

“My project looks at ways to lower the risk of cancer, and I found that people should take antioxidants and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables,” he said.

The sophomore at Solon High School said younger people, especially teenagers, have an increased risk of developing cancer.

Katie Tupper and Madeline Hire, seventh graders at Coshocton High School, displayed a poster about the ways dogs and cats walk. They said they were curious to discover whether both animals began walking with their left or right paws.

The students set out to observe 11 dogs and nine cats to discover the answer. They said that dogs usually begin walking with their left paws, while cats favor their right paws.

Tupper said she was no stranger to devising science experiments, as this was her sixth year competing. But she said she was proud to advance to the state tournament for the first time.

Ninth grader Nathan Kline, of Ashland, devised his experiment about harmful chemicals in cigarettes. He said he wondered if tar and carbon monoxide were more harmful in certain types of cigarettes.

“I went to a science camp and learned about it,” he said. “It turns out that even second-hand smoking can be worse depending on the specific cigarette.”

Overall evaluation of the projects was based on students’ developmental, psychological, and creative processes.

“I’ve done just 8th graders, but I think it’s great that students have this opportunity and (we) have this opportunity,” one volunteer judge said.

The judging concluded by 3 p.m. and the winners and their parents gathered in St. John Arena for the awards ceremony.

Elfner began the ceremony by thanking the students and parents for their effort.

“It was great to see what these students put together,” he said. “This gives you a taste of what scientists do.”

All winners’ names were read according to their category, and some students received additional awards and scholarships.

The Ohio Academy of Science hosted the event. 

Organization ra…

Organization rallies to condemn violence against women

By Amy Mittinger

mittinger.1@osu.edu

Published: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 ; Updated: Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One of Ohio State’s oldest campus groups, Women and Allies Rising in Resistance, will kick off Take Back the Night to celebrate women’s achievements in society and encourage further improvement.

The event will be held today from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Wexner Plaza. It will begin with a rally, which will include speeches from assault survivors. Men are also encouraged to attend the event, as some members of the campus group are males.

“We’re inclusive! It’s not all women,” said Helene Holstein, a fourth-year in sociology.

Holstein joined the group when she transferred to OSU in Autumn quarter 2008.

Emily Kitsmiller, a third-year in psychology, said the purpose of the event is to protest not only sexual violence, but all violence against women. She said all stories are welcome.

“Even if it wasn’t you, we encourage everyone to speak out against violence,” Kitsmiller said.

The organization began in Belgium during the 1970s as a way for women to acknowledge that they shouldn’t be abused, Holstein said. Festivals soon popped up in California as people became more willing to share their stories.

OSU’s campus organization, originally named Women Against Rape, began in March 1972. The group’s goal is to improve the status of women at OSU and throughout Columbus.

Today’s event will include a performance by News of Your Departure, a band of OSU students.

Deb Schipper, a current member of Women and Allies Rising in Resistance, is also scheduled to speak at the event. Her speech will be followed by poetry readings by other members of the group and speeches from Sexual Violence Education Services.

In addition to various OSU student groups attending the event, off-campus groups Voices for Planned Parenthood and Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio will be there. Student visitors from Otterbein College will also attend the event.

No members of the media will be allowed. 

Third-year cure…

Third-year cured of epilepsy, but loses short-term memory 

By Amy Mittinger

mittinger.1@osu.edu

Published: Monday, May 24, 2010 Updated: Monday, May 24, 2010

I transferred to Ohio State as a junior this year in the hopes of studying journalism. I graduated from high school with a 4.3 grade point average while playing varsity softball and volleyball, and earning a full year of college credit in the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program. Before arriving to OSU, I thought, “Piece of cake!” But I was wrong.

After completing one quarter at OSU and receiving poor grades, my application to the communication school was denied. I didn’t expect to receive a low GPA and little attention from professors when asking for help.

So what is today’s education system coming to? College students are typically evaluated by multiple-choice exams and learn their grade when Scantrons are returned.

The process is getting worse by the minute. We have all witnessed the typical college professor recite lists of terms to a lecture hall of students who have fallen asleep while updating their Facebook statuses.

I never noticed this pathetic attempt to teach and learn until I had to adjust to it. As a student who is not guilty of distracting herself, my success was suddenly interrupted before arriving to the university.

Five years ago, I was diagnosed with epilepsy, a neurological disorder that involves seizures. The sensory convulsions occurred in the left temporal lobe of my brain, a place vital to storing short-term memory. I attempted to correct the problem by having brain surgery, a temporal lobectomy, at the Cleveland Clinic in summer 2008. It worked miracles to prevent the episodes but inhibited my short-term memory.

Memorizing names and dates throughout the quarter is no picnic for the average student, but for me, it is nearly impossible.

Surprisingly, my longterm memory remains unharmed. I was told that it is housed in a different area of the brain. This explains why I can still recite the 50 states in alphabetical order, a list of common prepositions and irregular verbs in Spanish, all of which I learned in middle school. I am grateful that I have retained information from 10th grade and before. Basic facts, math problems and grammatical rules will always be useful.

But ask me what I learned last fall, and your answer will consist of nothing but a blank stare. However, this doesn’t scare me. There’s a handy device called a computer that can remind me of any fact in the blink of an eye. Hence my argument: What’s the difference between looking up information for the first time or researching it 10 years later to remember?

I have read statistics that say, like me, most adults can only remember and apply a small percentage of what they learn in college. I’m sure other students would agree that such specific details can slip anyone’s mind, as we are all human and capable of forgetting things. So why don’t professors realize this?

Instead of evaluating college students based on their memory alone, I have one simple suggestion: Let’s throw away the Scantrons and focus on students’ intelligence at hand.

Whether it be writing an essay, completing a research project or allowing students to take the typical exam if they choose, let students with the drive to succeed prove their intelligence. If they’re like me, they may not choose a comprehensive Scantron exam that’s easier to grade. But alternate tests will better prepare students for their future careers and give everyone in college a true run for their money.

Inductee into O…

Inductee into OSU’s Academy of Teaching enjoys helping students with future

 By Amy Mittinger

mittinger.1@osu.edu

Published: Thursday, May 27, 2010

Updated: Thursday, May 27, 2010                       

Most college students are in need of a helping hand when it comes to finding internships and job opportunities.

Professor Steve Boyles of the Department of Animal Sciences says he enjoys helping students who possess the motivation to succeed.

“I always ask what they’d like to do, and then offer plenty of alternatives about what their goals are,” he said.

Boyles’ work paid off in 2008, when he was one of 10 professors at Ohio State to receive the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. Both his colleagues and former students nominated him to receive the annual award, which earned him $3,000 and induction into the university’s Academy of Teaching.

Boyles said he feels honored to have received the award, but he enjoys advising students more than teaching.

“Students visit me more for advising than for help in the classroom,” he said. “I enjoy helping them choose classes and career fields.”

Boyles graduated from OSU in 1981 and went on to earn his doctorate from Kansas State University in 1985. He then returned to OSU as part of the university’s extension program.

His job involves conducting programs in various counties throughout Ohio to inform visitors and prospective students about the university’s agriculture program.

He said he was pleasantly surprised by students who approached him for assistance.

“It struck me that I ran into bright minds that are younger. Hopefully I have communication skills that are equal to theirs,” he said.

In 2003, while continuing his work in the extension program, he began teaching Animal Sciences 597: Issues Concerning the Use of Animals by Humans. Although he still teaches only one class, Boyles said he is never bored.

“I always find out something new when students submit a paper to me,” he said. “I enjoy the different perspectives that students bring into the class.”

He said he also writes letters of recommendation for his students when they apply for graduate school, internships or future jobs. Although he notices students’ hesitation to ask for assistance, he said he is always willing to lend a hand and welcomes all students in the animal sciences department to stop by his office.

“These students have skills,” he said, “so I take that as an honor.”
 

OSU gears up for Pelatonia

OSU gears up for Pelotonia 2010, sponsors recruitment events for annual bike tour

 

By Amy Mittinger

mittinger.1@osu.edu

Published: Monday, May 31, 2010

Updated: Monday, May 31, 2010

           

                       

Ohio State has sponsored a series of recruitment events for Pelotonia 2010, the second annual bike tour that raises money for cancer research at OSU’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The bike ride will be from August 20 to 22, and all participants must submit their applications online by June 15. Each individual biker or team of bikers is required to raise a minimum of $500.

Every penny raised will benefit the university’s medical center.

Eileen Scahill, media relations official for the Medical Center, said that if bikers cannot raise $500, they can drop out of the event by Aug.13. But if they fail to raise the required amount by the time the race has ended, Pelotonia will charge their credit cards.

Andrew Fast, finance captain for the Pelotonia Student Team, said he became eager to get involved in Pelotonia after losing close friends and relatives to cancer.

“Cancer has touched my life in many ways, having lost my grandmother, family, friends, and watched many other relatives and friends battle the disease,” he said.

Fast, a second-year in finance and accounting, remains devoted to recruiting sponsors and student participants.

Eight events on campus are geared toward recruiting bike riders. Half of the recruitment events have already occurred and four more are approaching in June.

During the third recruiting event Friday, eager participants gathered at the Ohio Union’s Performance Hall to listen to speeches about the race.

Tom Lennox, executive director of Pelotonia, said that last year 2,265 cyclists helped raise $4.5 million for the cause. He expressed his enthusiasm in the group’s new goal of having 5,000 cyclists raise between $9 million and $10 million.

A short speech by President E. Gordon Gee soon followed. Gee discussed his first wife, Elizabeth, who died of cancer at the OSU Medical Center in 1993.

Then, coach Jim Tressel stepped on stage and told the crowd that he lost his dad to cancer 29 years ago and his mother in 2001. He said he enjoyed riding in Pelotonia last year and looks forward to the upcoming event.

His speech was followed by Mac McDonald, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer in May 2009. McDonald said this cancer infects the oral cavity at the base of the tongue. He received cheers from the audience when he announced that after receiving four surgeries, one deep biopsy and 37 rounds of radiation at the OSU Medical Center, he is considered cancer free.

“Life’s a challenge. I have the best medical team. If you want a piece of me, cancer, bring it on!” he said.

OSU faculty and staff who participate in Pelotonia are given a raffle ticket for a drawing to win a 2010 Honda Accord, donated by CompManagement Inc., or a new Giant Defy Advanced 2 bicycle.

Even if they don’t win prizes, Fast encourages his fellow students to ride alongside him. He said last year’s Pelotonia was an inspiration to many.

“There were people of every shape and size imaginable, from die-hard riders to people who looked like they didn’t even know what a bike was,” he said. “At Pelotonia, none of this mattered because everyone was there for the same reason.” 

OSU gears up for Pelotonia 2010

OSU gears up for Pelotonia 2010, sponsors recruitment events for annual bike tour

By Amy Mittinger

mittinger.1@osu.edu

Published: Monday, May 31, 2010

Updated: Monday, May 31, 2010

                             

                                         

Ohio State has sponsored a series of recruitment events for Pelotonia 2010, the second annual bike tour that raises money for cancer research at OSU’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The bike ride will be from August 20 to 22, and all participants must submit their applications online by June 15. Each individual biker or team of bikers is required to raise a minimum of $500.

Every penny raised will benefit the university’s medical center.

Eileen Scahill, media relations official for the Medical Center, said that if bikers cannot raise $500, they can drop out of the event by Aug.13. But if they fail to raise the required amount by the time the race has ended, Pelotonia will charge their credit cards.

Andrew Fast, finance captain for the Pelotonia Student Team, said he became eager to get involved in Pelotonia after losing close friends and relatives to cancer.

“Cancer has touched my life in many ways, having lost my grandmother, family, friends, and watched many other relatives and friends battle the disease,” he said.

Fast, a second-year in finance and accounting, remains devoted to recruiting sponsors and student participants.

Eight events on campus are geared toward recruiting bike riders. Half of the recruitment events have already occurred and four more are approaching in June.

During the third recruiting event Friday, eager participants gathered at the Ohio Union’s Performance Hall to listen to speeches about the race.

Tom Lennox, executive director of Pelotonia, said that last year 2,265 cyclists helped raise $4.5 million for the cause. He expressed his enthusiasm in the group’s new goal of having 5,000 cyclists raise between $9 million and $10 million.

A short speech by President E. Gordon Gee soon followed. Gee discussed his first wife, Elizabeth, who died of cancer at the OSU Medical Center in 1993.

Then, coach Jim Tressel stepped on stage and told the crowd that he lost his dad to cancer 29 years ago and his mother in 2001. He said he enjoyed riding in Pelotonia last year and looks forward to the upcoming event.

His speech was followed by Mac McDonald, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer in May 2009. McDonald said this cancer infects the oral cavity at the base of the tongue. He received cheers from the audience when he announced that after receiving four surgeries, one deep biopsy and 37 rounds of radiation at the OSU Medical Center, he is considered cancer free.

“Life’s a challenge. I have the best medical team. If you want a piece of me, cancer, bring it on!” he said.

OSU faculty and staff who participate in Pelotonia are given a raffle ticket for a drawing to win a 2010 Honda Accord, donated by CompManagement Inc., or a new Giant Defy Advanced 2 bicycle.

Even if they don’t win prizes, Fast encourages his fellow students to ride alongside him. He said last year’s Pelotonia was an inspiration to many.

“There were people of every shape and size imaginable, from die-hard riders to people who looked like they didn’t even know what a bike was,” he said. “At Pelotonia, none of this mattered because everyone was there for the same reason.”