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Dan Foust
Communications Coordinator

Strongsville, OH (May 3, 2016) - Four Strongsville High School students will be traveling to Columbus as state finalists in the “Believe In Ohio” Competition this weekend. Julia Foust, Justyna Krupa, Jimmy Keating, and Sal Hargis were selected as finalists from more than one hundred participating Strongsville High School students and hundreds of students throughout Ohio. This annual competition challenges students to develop a new product or service dealing in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Each of the finalists earned scholarship money, as well as grant money for teaching resources at Strongsville High School.

Strongsville High School’s state finalist projects include:

        Julia Foust & Justyna Krupa (SHS Juniors) - Using food waste to produce new synthetic turf surfaces

        “Creating and researching new products is really exciting. This competition is preparing me for what I want to do when I graduate. It also is strengthening my skills in public speaking, teamwork, and research.” - Julia Foust

        “We had a great experience last year in this competition and it gave us the chance to research and explore topics outside of the classroom.” - Justyna Krupa

         Jimmy Keating (SHS Junior) - Injecting mirror-like microbubbles on the surface of bodies of water to reflect the sun’s rays, decreasing Earth’s temperature and conserving water

        “I entered the competition because my teacher Mr. Felton inspired me to work on a project. He always pushes us to do great things and teaches us life lessons in and out of class. I learned how to think scientifically about an idea and actually put it into effect.”

         Sal Hargis (SHS Sophomore) - Using skin cells from a patient’s own body to heal an area they may have damaged - to treat severe burns, scrapes, or scars

     “I thought it would be a great idea to be creative and do my own research on a topic that interested me. The most important skill I can take away from this project is the skill to be independent and think creatively. You are responsible for thinking of an invention that has never been thought of and developed before. That's the challenge, but also one of the most rewarding parts.”

Strongsville High School science teachers Ms. Gail DiGioia and Mr. Dan Mott have coordinated Strongsville’s participation. “The ‘Believe in Ohio’ Competition nourishes creativity and scientific proof of contents. It further teaches our students how to research, write, and support their ideas,” says Ms. DiGioia.

“‘Believe in Ohio’ encourages creativity and taking ownership of learning. It gives us a different way to demonstrate student learning, rather than test-taking,” adds Mr. Mott.

Believe in Ohio is a student STEM entrepreneurship program of The Ohio Academy of Science, in cooperation with Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio, and funded by The Ohio General Assembly through The Ohio Board of Regents. The program develops Ohio's next generation of innovators to create jobs through the application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to innovate new products and services.

The mission of the Strongsville City Schools, an excellent school district with a tradition of nationally recognized students and staff, is to ensure all students reach their fullest potential, through challenging curriculum and activities, provided by a highly qualified, motivated staff, in a safe, supportive environment with up-to-date facilities and technology - in partnership with the community.