St. Paul students excel at state science fair

SALEM — Salem St. Paul School students Andrew Beck and Laura Hovorka earned superior ratings and fellow student Nathan Yakubek earned an excellent rating during the 71st Annual State Science Day competition at The Ohio State University on Saturday.

Beck, a 12-year-old sixth grader and son of Brian and Stacey Beck, accomplished a feat that no other St. Paul student has done, according to Principal David Pancurak. His experiment on whether surface matters for dribbling a basketball earned him a $1,000 scholarship from the Ohio Tuition Trust Company for his college fund.

“We’ve had superiors, but we’ve never brought back money from state,” Pancurak said.

Hovorka, an 11-year-old fifth grader, is the daughter of Joe and Tricia Hovorka. Her experiment determined what citrus acid makes the fizziest bath bomb. Yakubek, a 12-year-old sixth grader, is the son of Scott and Katie Yakubek. His project explored the science of tempering chocolate. All three received certificates for their efforts.

“I’m full of pride. They worked hard, it paid off. To hear about their experience and see their reaction was well worth it,” Pancurak said.

The students earned their trip to Columbus by receiving superior scores at the regional science fair at Youngstown State University in March. They had placed at the St. Paul School science fair to earn the trip to compete at YSU.

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