Regional students receive AEP Foundation Watershed and Environmental Science awards

Students of all grade levels excited about science packed Ohio University’s Clippinger Laboratory with a record number of participants in this year’s Southeastern Ohio Science Fair, held on March 12, 2016.

Regional Sci Fair winners AEP 2016

The three winners of the AEP Foundation Environmental Science and Watershed Award at this year’s Southeastern Ohio Science Fair pose with their prizes. From left to right: Hannah Schulz (eighth grade), Sylvie Wilson (ninth grade), and Tina Zhang (seventh grade). Photo credit:  Jean Andrews/Ohio University

Members of Ohio University’s Appalachian Watershed Research Group attended the district science fair to seek out students who dedicated their projects to watershed research and awarded these students with an American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation Watershed and Environmental Science award. The Appalachian Watershed Research Group coordinated by the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs is a collection of faculty, staff, and students from various departments across Ohio University’s campus who are dedicated to providing water quality research in watersheds throughout the southeastern Ohio region.

This year’s winners include Hannah Shultz, an eighth grade student at Athens Middle School, Sylvie Wilson, a freshman at Athens High School, and Tina Zhang, a seventh grade student at Athens Middle School.

Two of the award recipients, Hannah Schulz and Sylvie Wilson, focused their projects on the chemical and biological effects of acid mine drainage in local streams. Hannah’s project (“The Effects of Acid Mine Drainage on Macroinvertebrates”) concentrated on the biological consequences, while Sylvie’s project (“Effects of Precipitation on Acid Mine Drainage Streams”) concentrated on the chemical consequences of acid mine drainage on overall stream health in the region.

Tina Zhang’s project (“Are We Drinking Clean Water?”) crafted her project around the concern for clean drinking water, an especially important discussion after the Flint, Michigan, water pollution crisis erupted earlier this year.

Each winner received a certificate, medal and $150 from the Appalachian Watershed Research Group, on behalf of the AEP Foundation.

“All students did an outstanding job,” Jen Bowman, Environmental Senior Project Manager at the Voinovich School, said. “I am energized by their excitement and enthusiasm for water resources and the environment.”

This story also appears on Ohio University’s CE3 portal

*The event was funded by a grant from the AEP Foundation to introduce middle and high school students to the University’s science and watershed research. The Appalachian Watershed Research Group also contributed, with faculty providing guidance, equipment, and mentorship to participating students. University College, Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, College of Health Sciences and Professions, and Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine sponsored the fair. For more information, visit the Southeastern Ohio Science Fair’s website (

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