BWIS Science Night at School Board meeting

By Lenny C. Lepola

March 19, 2014

Each month during the Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education meeting, one of the District’s six buildings is invited to do a presentation about something significant happening in that building.

During last Thursday’s (March 13) Board meeting, Big Walnut Intermediate School Principal Ryan McLane had that honor. McLane is known for his enthusiastic use of technology as a communication tool. Log on to the school district website at < >, click Schools, and on the drop-down menu click Big Walnut Intermediate School to go to the BWIS home page where it’s immediately apparent that McLane is a technology fan.

On that page you will find links to a YouTube Video Newsletter, a BWIS of the Eagle Newsletter via < >, a Twitter link, a Facebook link and an Instagram link.

But when he stood at the podium last Thursday he said he wanted to focus on Big Walnut Intermediate School’s January 30 Science Night and the February 6 Big Walnut District Science Fair.

“What I saw on Science Night was about learning,” McLane said. “It was amazing how many people were there to celebrate an academic event.”

BWIS fifth grade teacher Rina Hoge said the school district has had a science fair for the past 50 years; and that Linda Martin and high school science teacher Matt Wallschlaeger have been involved in organizing the science fair for 25 of those 50 years.

“It’s an ongoing process that every year gets better,” Hoge said. “This is our second year since the Intermediate School opened, and it’s exciting for all fifth grade students in the District to be in one building. There were 146 participants at the Big Walnut District Science Fair; 122 of those students were from Big Walnut Intermediate School.”

Hoge said BWIS fifth grade students are required to complete a science fair project; but an increasing number of sixth grade students are completing projects voluntarily.

“Last year was the first year for the Intermediate School’s science night, this year it was standing room only,” Hoge added. “It was phenomenal; our students have accomplished so much.”

During the Intermediate School presentation students Cody Carius and Joshua Johnson explained their joint project that explored how copper, aluminum and steel are affected by acids and bases, and the different metal’s impact on the testing solution’s pH; and Abby Spangenberg explained her project about how paint drying time is impacted by the paint’s color.

Central District Science Day was held on Saturday (March 15) at Columbus State. Of the 41 Big Walnut Intermediate School students at Columbus State, 13 earned Superiors and technically qualified to show their projects during the Saturday, May 10, State Science Day at The Ohio State University.

“Of the 13, only six get to go because of numbers,” Hoge said in a Sunday evening email. “They take the older kids first for scholarship purposes, and the younger ones in grades five and six fill in the gaps.”

Hoge also noted that one Big Walnut Middle School student and four Big Walnut High School students qualified for State Science Day.