Soy science prize winner doing inquiry-based research

Soy science is worth pursuing! Thanks to the Ohio Soybean Council Foundation, the Ohio Academy of Science’s Science Fair offers the Ohio Soybean Bioscience Award for the best projects at the district and state level using soybeans in the areas of agriculture biosciences, bioresources, biopolymers, bioproducts, biofuels, biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, and/or earth and environmental sciences. Colin Doss at Holy Family School in Stow has won a Soybean Bioscience Award at the district level for the past two years.

Colin said he has always loved science. “I am very curious, so I find it interesting to perform experiments. My enthusiastic Science Club teacher encouraged us to participate in the yearly science fair, and I loved it.” Upon learning that soybeans are an essential crop in the farming industry, used in a wide variety products from food to equipment for cars, he decided to do experiments to see how changes in environment or food supply would affect their growth. “The recent extreme changes in the weather on our planet, such as wild fires, polar vortexes, and droughts, are always in the news. Given how important soybeans are, I wanted to do experiments to see what farmers could do to help combat these changes.”

As for his future plans, Colin said he really enjoys math and science. “I find the brain fascinating, and I am interested in working in the field of neuroscience, possibly as a neurosurgeon. I also enjoy the performing arts and would like to pursue my love of theater in my spare time.”

Science Club teacher Lorraine Kulig said, “Student-focused, inquiry-based research is important because it teaches problem solving and a way of thinking that is closer to what students will use in real life. I also happen to believe it is a more engaging way of introducing concepts. As part of a school’s curriculum, it is the ultimate project-based learning experience—a cross-curricular activity encompassing not only science and engineering, but also math (data analysis), English (writing reports, giving presentations) and even some tech and history (researching what has been done on the project in the past/what others have done.) As the volunteer Science Club Coordinator, I encourage our participants to always experiment, explore what they are interested in and always ask questions.”