OOA Presents Osteopathic Medical Award at State Science Day

OU-HCOM Students Judge Projects

(June 8, 2020) The Ohio Osteopathic Association awarded the Osteopathic Medical Award to six middle school and high school students at the 72nd Annual State Science Day, held virtually May 26-June 2. Projects were judged in two divisions, 7th-9th grade and 10th-12th grade, by Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) students who volunteered their time.

Matthew Colpo OMS IIMatthew Colpo, a second-year student at OU-HCOM-Dublin, coordinated the judging. He recruited and organized students, assigned judges so each project was evaluated at least twice, monitored scoring, and did a lot of troubleshooting. Colpo is treasurer of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) and vice president of the Medical Mentoring Club. SOMA leaders have helped with the Osteopathic Medical Award for several years.

Colpo noted there were some hiccups with the virtual event. “Even though we were thrown a curveball with online judging due to the pandemic, I’m happy that we were able to get students representing each of OU-HCOM’s campuses to volunteer for State Science Day judging,” he said. “All the volunteers were super flexible while we worked out the many details.”

Thank you to the 16 judges, all members of the Class of 2023:

Athens Campus: CeCelia Hanline, Emily Harris, Scott Jobe, Caroline Kurtz, Lauren Leesman, Kristina Myers, Madeleine Sorrick, Emily Scriven, Sarah Warnock

Cleveland Campus: Sherilyn Rogers

Dublin Campus: Gina Cifani, Matthew Colpo, Manel Guessas, Nishant Rangwani, Marissa Wierzbicki, Abigail Wissman

Sponsored by the Ohio Academy of Science, State Science Day is the pinnacle of student originated, inquiry-based science education. Colpo said he and his classmates were impressed with the research projects. “It was really inspiring to see the future of STEM and medicine represented by these middle and high school students,” he said. “Everyone that I spoke to about the projects were shocked at how great they all were, myself included.”

About 1,200 students in grades 5-12 participate annually in State Science Day. Students compete for scholarship and special honors valued at $500,000. The Osteopathic Medical Award generally draws 70-80 students.

The OOA presented $650 total: $150 for first place; $100 for second place; and $75 for third place. Priority was given to projects related to interrelationships between the body’s function and structure, the musculoskeletal system, or a holistic approach to medicine, including internal and external factors and preventive treatments.

The following received the Osteopathic Medical Award:

SENIOR DIVISION, 10th-12th grade

Anjali Dhanekula
The Use of Cryoablation as an Alternative Treatment for Rhabdomyosarcoma
10th grade, Hathaway Brown, Shaker Heights

Julia Bray
An Investigation of Bacteria Filtration with Activated Charcoal
12th grade, Gahanna Lincoln High School, Gahanna

Annie Xia
Determining the Presence of and Impact of Various Antibiotics on Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
11th grade, Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati

JUNIOR DIVISION, 7th-9th grade

Carlo Polisena
Examining the Growth-Inhibiting Properties of the Antihistamine Loratadine Against Antibiotic Resistant Staphylococcus Bacteria
8th grade, St. Francis of Assisi School, Gates Mills

Seth Tivakaran
Effect of Different Food Substances on Lactate Buildup
9th grade, Carroll High School, Dayton

Maya Brausch
Are Devices a Pain in the Neck?
8th grade, St. Columban School, Loveland

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