BW’S Abbie Myers invited to AJAS Convention
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Big Walnut Middle School eighth grade student Abbie Myers has been involved in Big Walnut’s annual science fair since she was in fifth grade. As a sixth grader Myers completed a science fair project, Aquatic Oil Spill Clean-Up, that is still garnering awards for Myers, including a February 13 to 17 trip to Boston where she will be inducted as a Lifetime Fellow in the American Junior Academy of Sciences during the 2013 AJAS Annual Convention.
The AJAS is America’s only honor research society for high school scientists. Each state’s Academy of Science selects premier middle and high school researchers from their state to be lifetime fellows in AJAS. Each year, the AJAS hosts a conference to honor these students and to induct them as fellows into AJAS. The conference is always held in conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Conference.
Becoming an AJAS Lifetime Fellow is not an honor casually given out. This year only five students from Ohio have been invited to the AJAS convention as inductees. To get there Myers’ 2011 science fair project had to get Superior ratings at Big Walnut and at Central District Science Day at Columbus State Community College, where she also earned a First Place Award sponsored by the Franklin County Chapter of the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers.
At State Science Day at The Ohio State University in May of 2011 Myers not only earned a Superior rating, she took home three sponsored awards: a First Place Ralph J. Bernhagen Award sponsored by the Ohio Geological Society that earned a certificate, a cash award, plus a one year OGS student membership; a First Place plaque and cash award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Ohio Section; and an Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) Award that also came with a certificate and cash.
During April of 2012 Myers was invited to present her project at the 121st Annual Meeting of the Ohio Academy of Sciences (OAS) at Ashland University, primarily a professional and collegiate meeting. At the OAS Annual Meeting Myers was selected as one of five pre-college students to represent the State of Ohio and The Ohio Academy of Science at the AJAS Annual Convention, an honor typically reserved for Ohio high school students.
Also as a result of the Ashland University OAS meeting, Myers’ project abstract was published in the Ohio Journal of Science, Vol. 112, No. 1, April Program Abstracts.
“I feel real honored, being one of only five students attending the convention out of the whole state of Ohio from fifth through 12th grades,” Myers said. “It was only my second year science fair project, so I was really surprised at how well it has been received.”
While in Boston Myers will have to show her original science fair project poster presentation on Friday, February 15; and do a 10-minute oral podium presentation on Saturday, February 16, when she will have to answer questions about her project.
It won’t be all work and no play in Boston. The AJAS Convention includes tour options for the inductees. Myers said at the top of her list is a visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a.k.a. MIT, and the chance to sit in on a dissection of a cow’s eye.
Myers’ 2011 Aquatic Oil Spill Clean-Up science fair project was not a one-time effort. She followed it up with a related project in 2012, Oceanic Oil Spill Clean-Up, and this year Myers’ science fair effort is titled Arctic Oil Spill Clean-Up. For next year’s science fair, Myers said she plans to continue the same line of research, possibly with a bio-fuel twist.
Myers, who said her career goal is to become an emergency room trauma physician, plays trumpet in the middle school band, is involved in the Big Walnut Soccer Association program, and does woodworking and rabbit projects as a member of Walnut 4-Hers 4-H Club.
Abbie Myers is the daughter of Phillip and Crystal Myers.