Judges with 41-50 years of service with the Putnam County Science Fair are (left to right) Leo Schroeder, Dr. Jan Osborn, Paul Lenz and Bob Gerdeman. (Photo submitted)
Judges with 41-50 years of service with the Putnam County Science Fair are (left to right) Leo Schroeder, Dr. Jan Osborn, Paul Lenz and Bob Gerdeman. (Photo submitted)

Saturday, Feb. 8, marked the 60th annual Putnam County Science Fair. Putnam County students in grades six through nine presented 161 projects at Glandorf Elementary School.

As the first Putnam County Science Fair was held in 1954, most of the attendees that filled the gym had in one way or another participated in a science fair. Many students have moved through the ranks to represent Putnam County at State Science Day. In 2011, Putnam County represented 34 percent of the projects presented at State Science Day in District 6 and three percent of the projects across the whole state.

Projects were judged on knowledge achieved, effective use of the scientific method, clarity of expression, and originality and creativity. Projects receiving a score of 36-40 (45-50 for teams) were awarded a superior rating, those receiving scores of 24-35 (30-44) were awarded an excellent rating and those receiving 12-23 (15-29) were awarded a good rating.

During the judges’ breakfast, volunteers were honored based on their years of experience with the Science Fair. Sixty judges were involved in the evaluation of projects this year ranging in experience from first timers to 49 years of experience. The Awards Ceremony began by taking a moment to reflect on sixty years of science.

This year ten students earned a perfect score of 40 on their projects. They included Ryan Hoersten of Fort Jennings; Jay Kaufman of Glandorf Elementary; Kaydee Stant, Jeremy DeMuth, and Makenna Lehman from Miller City-New Cleveland; Brittany Schleeter, Brendan Siefker, Clayton Schnipke, and Kasey Knippen of Ottoville; and Leah Tabler from St. Anthony’s. These students received plaques for their accomplishments sponsored by Ottoville Bank Company, First National Bank of Pandora, First Federal Bank of Ottawa and Fort Jennings State Bank.

Sixty-four Putnam County students received superior ratings. Students earning a superior rating in the Behavioral and Social Sciences field were Leah Baker from Continental; Makenna Niese of Kalida; Makenna Lehman, Chloe Lammers, Emma Wenzinger, and Elena Niese from Miller City-New Cleveland; Kambrie Edelbrock of Ottoville; Leah Tabler and Victoria Warnecke of St. Anthony’s; and Hope Wischmeyer from Sts. Peter and Paul.

Students earning superior ratings in the field of Microbiology included Marissa Krietemeyer of Fort Jennings; and Madison Wiseman and Taylor Ellerbrock from St. Anthony’s.

Seven students received a superior rating in the Botany field. They were Troy Ricker from Fort Jennings; Daniel Siebeneck, Tyson Niese, and Emily Warnimont from Miller City-New Clevelend; Kara Landin from Ottoville; Kara Schmidt from St. Anthony’s; and Garrett Langhals, a homeschooled student in the Columbus Grove district.

Students receiving superior ratings in the Chemistry field were Ryan Hoersten, Michael Fields and Makenna Ricker from Fort Jennings; Elizabeth Dalrymple of Glandorf Elementary; and Aneesa Langhals, a homeschooled student in the Columbus Grove district.

Eight students earned a superior in the Environmental Sciences field. They included Adam Noriega of Fort Jennings; Kadie Hempfling of Glandorf; Jeremy DeMuth, Dominic Schroeder, and Madison Schroeder from Miller City-New Cleveland; Kasey Knippen and Abigail Hilvers of Ottoville; and Paige Hoyt from Sts. Peter and Paul.

The students receiving superiors in the Engineering category were Kyle Maag of Fort Jennings; Collin Oedy and Anthony Inkrott of Miller City-New Cleveland; and Madison Langhals and Hannah Grigsby of St. Anthony’s.

In the Medicine and Health area, those students receiving superior ratings were Karenna Langhals, a homeschooled student in the Columbus Grove district; Claire Schroeder of Glandorf Elementary; Brittany Schleeter, Brendan Siefker, Cassandra Kemper and Quinley Schlagbaum of Ottoville; and Claire Eiden of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Twelve projects earned superior ratings in the Physics category. They included the team of Owen Recker and Connor Krouse of Kalida; Jay Kaufman and Alex Hoehn from Glandorf Elementary; Rachel Luersman of Fort Jennings; Kaydee Stant, Abigail Schroeder, Amanda Schroeder and Emily Niese from Miller City-New Cleveland; Clayton Schnipke and Jaden Schnipke from Ottoville; and Addison Bonnell and Zachary Warnecke of St. Anthony’s.

In the Zoology field, the three students receiving a superior rating were Aaron Sealts of Fort Jennings; and Emma Recker and Mitchel Konst from Miller City-New Cleveland.

Dylan Altman of Miller City-New Cleveland received a superior in the Earth and Space Science category. Erin Eickholt and Natalie Morman both earned superior ratings in the area of Biochemistry.

Forty-nine additional sponsored plaques were handed out in individual fields of entry. The Agriculture Awards, sponsored by Ottawa Feed and Grain, were won by Madelyn Siebeneck of Miller City-New Cleveland for her continuation project titled “Humidy Level on Hatching” and by Garrett Langhals, a home schooled student in the Columbus Grove district, for his project titled “Variability in Grain and Oilseed Moisture Meters”.

The Behavioral Science/Mental Health Services Awards, sponsored by the Pathways Counseling Center, were both won by St. Anthony’s’ students: Leah Tabler for her project “Teenagers vs. Stress” and Madison Wiseman for “The House of Germs”. Town and Country Flowers sponsored the Botany Awards given to Kara Schmidt of St. Anthony’s for “How Do Seeds Know Which Way to Grow” and Tyson Niese of Miller City-New Cleveland for “Phototropism and Geotropism”.

Tucker’s Pharmacy of Ottawa gave a Chemistry Award to Brittany Schleeter of Ottoville for her project “The Effects of Air Freshener Containing Formaldehyde”. Furthermore, Wal-Mart Pharmacy gave a Chemistry Award to Elizabeth Dalrymple of Glandorf for her project titled “Purification Methods of Sulfur Water”.

The Conservation Awards, sponsored by the Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District, were won by Trevor Siefker of Glandorf for “How Cover Crops Help Soil” and Dominic Schroeder of Miller Cit-New Cleveland for “Agricultural Runoff, Wetlands and Municipal Discharge”.

Leipsic Veterinary Service sponsored the Dairy-Related Award given to Ralph Inkrott of Miller City-New Cleveland for his project titled “Effect of Music on Bovine Milk”.

The Putnam County Dental Association sponsored two awards that were won by Karissa Recker of Glandorf for “Sweetner vs. Sugar: Effect on Tooth Decay” and Brendan Siefker of Ottoville for “Garlic: Gimmick or Great”.

The Ecological Conservation Awards, sponsored by the Jim Kieffer Family, were won by Addison Bonnell of St. Anthony’s for the project “Is Biomass the Way of the Future?” and Kadie Hempfling of Glandorf for the project “How Age Affects Vernal Pools”.

The Energy awards, sponsored by Dominion Gas, were won by Kyle Maag of Fort Jennings for his project titled “Whay Type of Gasoline Will Run Long with a Load on It?” and Ryan Hoersten also of Fort Jennings for the project titled “Does the Octane Rating of Fuel Affect the RPM of a Single Cylinder Engine?”.

The Technicon Design Group, Inc. sponsored two awards in the area of Engineering that were won by the team of Jack Zeller and Trevor Lambert of Kalida for their project “The Effects of Weight Distribution on a Wooden Car” and by Hannah Grigsby of St. Anthony’s for the project “EMF: Hidden Hazards in Your Own Home”. PreTalen also sponsored an Engineering award that included a plaque and cash prize that was given to Madison Langhals of St. Anthony’s for her project “Which Product is Most Effective in Blocking Laptop Heat?”

Glandorf Warehouse sponsored an Environmental Award that was won by Abigail Hilvers of Ottoville for “Solar Cell Efficiency”. Crop Production Services sponsored two additional Environmental Awards that were given to Jeremy DeMuth of Miller City-New Cleveland for “Waste Water Treatment Plants” and Griffin Morman of Fort Jennings for “Water Type’s Effect on Grass”.

The three Human Health and Physiology Awards, sponsored by St. Rita’s Ambulatory Care Center, were won by Erin Kaufman of Sts. Peter and Paul for “Does Lying Increase Your Heart Rate?”; Natalie Morman of Fort Jennings for “Fungus Among Us”; and by Andy Schimmoeller from Ottoville for “Simethicone”.

The Medical Awards sponsored by the Putnam County Medical Association were won by Taylor Ellerbrock of St. Anthony’s for “Dog Saliva: The Next Miracle Healer?” and Quinley Schlagbaum of Ottoville for “Eye Color and Sight in Dim Light”.

The Putnam County Health Department sponsored the Nutrition/Fitness/Health Awards that were presented to Karenna Langhlas, a homeschooled student in the Columbus Grove district for “Effect of Moisturizers on Pig Skin” and Leah Baker of Continental for “Athletics and Reflexes”.

The Ottoville Hardware and Furniture Company sponsored a Physics Award given to Jay Kaufman of Glandorf for the project “Effect of Playing Surfaces on Friction”.

The Sight-Related Awards sponsored by the Glandorf and Ottawa Lions Clubs were won by Sydney Eickholt of Continental for “Color vs. Color” and Cody Ellerbrock of Miller City-New Cleveland for “What Effect Do Types of Lines Have Upon McCollough Effect Response”.

The Putnam County Commissioners sponsored the award in the Solid Waste Management category that was given to Addison Bonnell of St. Anthony’s for her project titled “Is Biomass the Way of the Future?”.

The Technology Award sponsored by Log On Computers was won by Madison Langhals of St. Anthony’s for her project titled “Which Product is Most Effective in Blocking Laptop Heat?”.

The Veterinary Award sponsored by Leipsic Veterinary Service was won by Fort Jennings’ Rachael Luersman for her project titled “Which Saddle Pad Helps Keep the Horse the Coolest?”.

The Quarry Farm Nature Preserve & Conservation Farm sponsored a Water Quality Award that was given to Nathan DeMuth of Miller City-New Cleveland for “Effect of UV Light in a Waste Water Treatment Plant on Bacteria”. Blanchard River Watershed Project also sponsored two awards that were won by Ethan Brown of Fort Jennings for “Condensation Traps” and Rachael Schnipke of Glandorf for “Nitrates and Rainfall”.

The Jim Kieffer Family sponsored 2 Awards for Originality and Creativity that were presented to Madison Schroeder of Miller City-New Cleveland for her project titled “What Effect Does Fabric Type Have Upon the Reduction of Radio Frequency?” and Adam Noriega of Fort Jennings for his project titled “How Does a Tornado Form?”

The Jim Kieffer Family also sponsored two Awards for Effective Use of Scientific Method that went to Kyle Maag of Fort Jennings for “Whay Type of Gasoline Will Run Longer with a Load on It?” and Peyton Klass of Glandorf for “The Effect of Depth on Water Hardness”.

The Outstanding Presentation Awards, sponsored by the Jim Kieffer Family, were won by McKenna Niese of Kalida for “Kinsesthetic Learners” and by Claire Schroeder of Glandorf for “Fading Light’s Effect on Depth Perception”.

Jed and Mary Osborn and Ball Corporation sponsored three awards that each included a plaque and cash prize. The Young Scientist Challenge Award, given to a student in the 5-6 grades, was won by Kaitlyn Herman of St. Anthony’s for “Tennis Balls”. The Advanced Scientist Challenge Award, given to a student in grades 7-12, was given to Brittany Schleeter of Ottoville for “The Effects of Air Freshener Containing Formaldehyde”. The Outstanding Team Project Award was given to Owen Recker and Connor Krouse of Kalida for their project “Here Comes the Pitch”.

A new award this year sponsored by the Retired Teachers of Putnam County included a plaque and cash prize for Outstanding Written Report. This award was given to Liz Westrick of Miller City-New Cleveland for the project titled “What Effect Does Temperature Have Upon Learning and Perception?”.

Projects in the Behavioral Science field were judged by Becky Leader, Dave Leader, Joe Uphaus, Leesha Ginley, Bruce Steingass, Theresa Schroeder, Jodi Maag and Dr. Shane Maag.

Scott Hoff, Dr. Roger Minier, Bob Gerdeman and Dr. John Stehulak judged projects in the Biochemistry and Microbiology fields.

Projects in the Botany field were judged by Roger Luersman, Robb Schultz, Bonnie Brooks and Toni Rieger. Deb Dulle, Abigail Stehulak, Heather Harmon and Tom Diehl judged projects in the field of Chemistry.

Projects in Earth and Space Sciences were judged by Mike Siebeneck and Donna Hoyt.

Projects in the Engineering field were judged by Jacob Honigford, Rick Carder, Ron Honigford and Roger VonderEmbse.

Harold Gerten, Michelle Williams, Daryl Radabaugh, Kevin Blake, Marilyn Bohrer and Greg VonderEmbse judged the projects in the field of Environmental Science.

Projects in the Health and Medicine field were judged by Jeanne Bockey, Alicia Haselman, Beth Hempfling, Denise Hench, Marcille Liebrecht, Ashley Hoehn, Bob Weber and Tina Weber.

Physics projects were judged by Al Hueve, Leo Schroeder, Mike Lammers, Mike Jones, Rod Nuveman, Paul Lenz, David Ginley, Steve Hilvers, Lynn Lucke and Tim Burkepile.

Projects in the Zoology field were judged by Stephen Palte and Tim Wehri.

Special Judges, who provided judging for all of the sponsored awards, were led by Jeff Jostpille. Next steps for students include the Regional and District Science Fairs and State Science Day. Regionals will be held at Northwest State Community College in Archbold on Saturday, March 1. Students who earned superior or high excellent ratings at the County Fair are eligible to advance to the District Science Fair, which will be held at Ohio Northern University on Saturday, March 22. If students receive high enough ratings at these fairs, they are eligible to compete at the State Science Day, hosted by The Ohio State University, on Saturday, May 10, where over $2.5 million in scholarships will be awarded.

Special thanks to the administration and staff of Ottawa-Glandorf Local Schools for hosting the 2014 Putnam County Science Fair, including Kevin Brinkman, Superintendent, Scott Ketner, Elementary School Principal and Ted Elliot, science teacher. Thanks also to the staff at Glandorf Elementary School, including the cafeteria and janitorial staff, PTO and the Student Council. Finally, a special thank you to Norm Schnipke, Marita Deatrick, Deb Schroeder, Gary Herman and Dr. Jan Osborn for all of their assistance and support throughout the Scienc Fair.

The Putnam County Science Fair is coordinated by the Putnam County Educational Service Center and science teachers from several districts within Putnam County.