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Biology majors present at the 120th Annual Meeting of the Ohio Academy of Science


ONU student presenters include, left to right, top row, Brittney Simmons, Joshua Cain, Phillip Taylor; middle row, Jeannette Loyer, Jennifer Aiello, Geoffrey Groenke; and bottom row Rebekah Lavin, Keira Corbett, Andrew Park and Joshua Salsbury.

Ten biology majors presented the results of individual or group research at the Ohio Academy of Science (OAS), held April 16 at Otterbein University. Their research projects were products of either independent study or in-class research.

Students were asked to provide feedback about their OAS experience and to rate their OAS experience against the seven ONU leaning outcomes.  The students said the research improved their critical and creative thinking skills as well their scientific literacy while making the presentations enhanced their communication skills.  Some added that the experimental process, the data analysis and the preparation for the presentations helped integrate concepts across the curriculum.  As an extension of their research efforts and publication of their abstract in the Ohio Journal of Science, a group of students was invited to present their findings before the Ohio House of Representatives, where they learned that their research had ethical implications and a potential to impact civic issues such as House Bill 99.

Four students, Jenna Aiello, Keira Corbett, Andrew Park and Joshua Salsbury,  presented their group medical physiology project,  “Effect of Text-Messaging Distractions on Reaction Time” (The Ohio Journal of Science, 111 (1), A-6, 2012.) at OAS and shared their work with the Ohio House of representatives. 

Park said, “The off campus presentation complemented our on campus experience …. The publishing of our research in the OAS annual journal helped us get recognized by Ohio lawmakers and, at their request, allowed us to present our research in front of a committee of Ohio Representatives in order to gain passage of a law to ban texting and driving in the state of Ohio. I would recommend it to future students just because it can be a stepping stone to additional research opportunity.”

He added that the results of the experiment caused him to rethink his own texting while driving. 

 Rebekah Lavin was the only member of her group which included Cara Schroeder and Ashton Dennen, to presented their research, “Effect of Heart Rate on Visual Reaction Time,” (OJS , 111(1), A-6, 2012). She recommended the experience to future students:

“Presenting at OAS is a completely different situation and experience than presenting to my peers in a classroom setting.  It gave me the opportunity to see what a professional presentation was like and to present to professionals in the field.”

Some students presented their findings as a posters.  Joshua Cain and Goeffrey Groenke presented research that they did with Bryan Frantz, who was unable to attend, “Stroop Effect Variance with Age,” (OJS 111(1), A-22, 2012).

Groenke was enthusiastic about the interaction with students and faculty from other institutions. “It was great to interact with students from other universities and compare their experiments and findings with ours,” he said.

His co presenter, Joshua Cain, addedm “The off campus presentation enhanced my ability to present to professors and others that I am not familiar with.  It also allowed me to receive constructive remarks that would help to improve and expand the research.”

Jeannette Loyer, did a poster presentation of her independent study research, “Seasonal Changes in Phenolic Content and Antimicrobial Activity of Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and Oregano (Origanum vulgare),” (OJS, 111(1), A-23, 2012). She said the experience expanded her scientific interest: “It allowed me to discuss science with students from other schools, which gave me a different perspective on various types of research,” she said. “This experience was exciting and I enjoyed seeing projects that sparked new ideas to bring back to ONU.”

Brittney Simmons, also presented her independent study research, “Locational Effects of Growing Conditions and Thymol and Carvacol Concentrations on Antibiosis by Ethanolic Extracts of Thyme and Oregano in Three Ohio Counties,” (OJS, 111( 1), A-24, 2012) as a poster.

Phillip Taylor presented his independent study research, “Comparison of the Antimicrobial Activity of Ethanol Extracts of Thyme and Oregano to Their Major Synthetic Components Acting Alone or in Synergy,” (OJS, 111(1), A-23, 2012.He said “I wanted to do more with my education outside the classroom and research presented a unique way to enhance my critical thinking skills and further scientific knowledge. The off campus presentation gave me an opportunity to present my work to people who were unfamiliar with it and so I had to think about it from different approaches in order to best convey its message.”