Science fair winners lauded

WEST?LIBERTY, W.Va. – The “final four” winners of the 54th West Liberty University Regional Science Fair were honored for their contributions to science by the Civitan Club of Wheeling on Wednesday at WesBanco Arena.

The club hosted the senior division grand prize winner, Zoe Bucella, who is home schooled in Barnesville; the senior division grand prize runner-up, Juan Dunlap of East Richland Christian School, St. Clairsville; the junior division grand prize winner, Luke Rapp, and the junior division grand prize runner-up, Lexie Kosanovic, both from St. Michael Parish School.

The winners will attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Ariz., in May, where prizes and scholarships are valued at more than $4 million.

“I’m really excited, I’ve never been out West before,” said Bucella, whose project is Effects of Meteorological Conditions on the Avian Fauna Paratympanic Organ: An Ethological Analysis.

“This is my first time going as a participant. I was a student observer last year.”

“You are inquisitive and our future,” Dr. James Caveney of the Civitan Club told the students. “Always challenge the so-called ‘facts.’ You understand the scientific method. The future of America depends on science, engineering and health care. This country can lead and change the world via science.”

According to Caveney, the Civitan Club traditionally has supported the regional science fair since 1982 and, to date, has donated more than $41,000 to the fair.