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Fairland ranks high in science fair participants

Oct. 04, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

ROME TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Of the nearly 900 Ohio schools to participate in state science fair competitions from 1996-2012, Fairland High School ranks 11th in the number of students participating, said Chad Belville, Fairland High School principal.

"That's an impressive streak over 16 years," Belville said earlier this week. "That's sustained education. It shows you have quality students and quality teachers as well as community support."

The state science fair is overseen by the Ohio Academy of Science, which tracks the number of students participating, he said. Some students pick a topic and do science fair projects on them all four years in high school, he said.

Julia Wu, a Fairland senior, has done five science fair projects and will be doing a sixth later this year.

"I've done some continuing projects," Wu said. "But I have switched several years and done projects on breast cancer. Last year I did one on diabetes and will continue with that subject this year. I'm looking at a gene that could cause diabetes. I've done a science fair project every year since the seventh grade."

Wu plans to go to college, but hasn't picked one yet. Despite all the science fair projects, she doesn't plan to major in a science field. "English is my favorite subject," she said.

"I've visited Miami University," she said. "It has a beautiful campus. I'll pick a college in a few months."

Tim Hayes, a Fairland science teacher, said a culture of participating in science fair has been developed over the years at Fairland.

"If we can get them hooked early, they can do a science fair project every year they're in high school," Hayes said.

"I'm proud of that ranking from the Ohio Academy of Science," he said. "We have a lot of support from the parents and the teachers. I'm proud of the students. We've had several win scholarships."

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