Harold C. Shaw Memorial School Award is highest award for Ohio Schools competing in State Science Day

By Chuck Gibson

 LOVELAND, OH (June 25, 2020) – St. Columban School students received superior and excellent ratings earning the school the Harold C. Shaw Memorial Award for highest achievement by a school competing with students from across the state on State Science Day. The competition is the academic equivalent of competing for a state championship in athletics.

St. Columban School in Loveland, OH (FILE)

Nine student representatives from St. Columban School competed with approximately 800 students from other schools across the state. The students were evaluated on their scientific research and their communication skills. The nine students from St. Columban included four from seventh grade and five from eighth grade. All study science with St. Columban Jr. High science teacher Mr. Ben McPheron. He just completed his 16th year teaching at St. Columban. He works very closely with each of the students as they propose and then prepare their science project for competition. 

This is the third consecutive year St. Columban School students earned the Harold C. Shaw Award for highest achievement and their seventh Shaw Award since 2009. The results McPheron has produced have left a strong impression with St. Columban School Principal Mrs. Jo Rhoten.

“Year after year we are impressed by the unique and well developed Science Fair projects of our Jr. High Advanced Science students,” said Rhoten. “They, with the guidance of teacher Ben McPheron, invest hours of time and attention to detail to complete their projects leading them, and St. Columban School, to great success.  Again this year, our students bring home the Harold C. Shaw award and we couldn’t be more proud.”

Science Fair Trophies – St. Coumban School (Provided)

The Harold C. Shaw Award represents the pinnacle of success for schools with students competing in the State Science Day competition each year. The award can only be earned by schools with at least four students receiving a “Superior” rating or schools with more than four projects with 80-percent of the students earning a “Superior” rating and zero “Good” ratings. The 2020 State Science Day competition in Ohio had 258 schools represented. 

St. Columban 7th grade student with his science project display (Provided)

St. Columban School is one of only 14 of those 258 schools to receive the 2020 Harold C. Shaw Memorial School Award. The Science Fair projects of St. Columban School students are a point of pride for teacher Ben McPheron.

“I am very proud of all the students who completed a science fair project this year,” said McPheron. “They have shown an amazing ability to carry out research and conduct an experiment which related to real world concerns. Their experiments represent a vast amount of work and dedication to activities that cause personal growth.”

2020 State Science Fair Results for St. Columban School:

7 of 9 students received a Superior rating and 2 received Excellent rating.

State Awards received by Individual students:

  • Future Physician Award – 2nd place, $250
  • Osteopathic Medical Award – 3rd place, $75
  • Young Scientist Award – $100
  • Geological Award – 1st place, $350
  • Civil Engineering Award – 1st place, $200
  • Young Scientist Award – $100
  • Geological Award – Honorable Mention, $50
  • Ohio STEM Award – Honorable Mention $25


Click here for more on St. Columban School 

Click here for more on Ohio State Science Day