| Follow Us:

STEM : Innovation + Job News

6 STEM Articles | Page:

'Father-Daughter Hackday' encourages girls to become makers of technology

If it's up to Rachel Wilkins Patel, fathers and daughters will create something cool together this Father's Day.

Patel is founder HER Ideas in Motion, Northeast Ohio’s first technology and media program for girls. On June 15, the nonprofit will host a Father-Daughter HackDay featuring hands-on activities and career role-modeling for girls ages 11-14 interested in STEM-focused studies. Participants will create their own projects under the tutelage of female technology professionals.

The workshop "is about fathers encouraging daughters to try new things and become makers of technology, not just users," says Patel, a developer at Progressive Insurance.

Being the only woman in the room is not uncommon in high-tech professions, something that HER Ideas in Motion aims to change.

"The number of women in programming is flat and even decreasing in some areas," Patel says. "We're trying to address social and industry issues."

Launched in 2011, the program has graduated 130 students. Interacting with successful women from Rosetta, LeanDog Software, NetApp and Keybank during the Father's Day program will only motivate teen girls to pursue their high-tech aspirations, believes the nonprofit founder.

Gender should not be an obstacle for creative types hoping to program their own video game or dissect the inner workings of a computer, Patel notes. Middle school is the perfect time to introduce girls to the ever-growing digital space.

"We want to reach them before they know what they're capable of," she says. "They should be comfortable taking technical classes later in their school careers."

Source: Rachel Wilkins Patel
Writer: Douglas J. Guth

STEM scholars receive $4.5 million in awards at 65th annual state science day

Nearly 1,300 Ohio science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students grades 5 through 12 received awards totaling $4.5 million at the 65th annual State Science Day, an event likened to a state championship game in athletics for education.
Launched in 1949, the Ohio State University-based State Science Day offers students across the Buckeye state the opportunity to showcase their talents to a panel of 1,000 judges for a variety of awards. This year’s largest donor was Ohio Wesleyan University, offering scholarships between $15,000 and $20,000.
Describing the event as a “blur,” Dr. Lynn Elfner, CEO at the Ohio Academy of Science, paints a picture of intense student interaction with judges. “You don’t have time to breathe,” says Elfner. “It goes really fast.”
Elfner touts the event’s diversity. “There were 1,300 students from 71 different counties,” he says. “It’s one of those equal opportunities for students all over the state. If they do good work, they have the opportunity regardless of their economic background to attend State Science Day.”
Perhaps more exciting for students is the opportunity to join an elite alumni class. Discussing some standouts of previous State Science Days, Elfner notes the inventor of the Fuzzbuster, Dale Smith, attended the annual event “many, many years ago.”
“The one who is most prominent is Dave Roberts,” says Elfner. “Dave had a project about 25 years ago concerning the design of ship hulls.” Today, Commanding Officer Roberts is teaching cadets how to drive submarines at the Naval Submarine School.
Source: Dr. Lynn E. Elfner
Writer: Joe Baur

ohio STEM learning network receives $50k grant from walmart foundation

The Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) recently received a $50,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation.  STEM refers to the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math. In addition to supporting overall OSLN operations, the funding will be used to facilitate the launch of new STEM schools in rural Ohio, including an academy that focuses on biosciences. Battelle, a global research and development organization in Columbus, supports and manages the OSLN.

According to Courtney Howard Hodapp, program manager of education and STEM learning at Battelle, Senator Chris Widener of Springfield and his staff have been working closely with Battelle, the OSLN and The Ohio State University to develop a bioscience high school to be located in or around Springfield.

“The school will work in partnership with Ohio State, much like the Metro Early College High School in Columbus, to provide learning opportunities, such as research, internships and classes, for students,” she explains. The school is still in the early planning stages.

“This grant from Walmart will allow the OSLN to continue to support the development of high-quality STEM schools across the state of Ohio,” Hodapp states. “We are able to assist with planning and curriculum development, not only for the Springfield biosciences school, but for other schools around the state in the start-up phase.”

Metro Early College High School was established in 2006 as a partnership among Battelle, The Ohio State University and the Education Council, which represents Franklin County’s 16 school districts.

“Metro’s first class of seniors graduated in 2010,” Hodapp says. “One hundred percent of seniors graduate and are accepted into college.” Metro was the first STEM school, both in Ohio and nationwide, and has become a model for STEM schools in Ohio and the United States.

The Ohio STEM Learning Network was developed by Battelle and the Ohio Business Roundtable -- with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the State of Ohio and other partners and stakeholders -- as the nation’s first-ever statewide network for STEM education.

Source: Courtney Howard Hodapp
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

YSU lands record four grants totaling $5.2 million from Ohio's Third Frontier

Youngstown State University’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) College announced this month it has landed a record four concurrent grants totaling $5.2 million from Ohio’s Third Frontier program. The two work closely to enhance technical education and to provide employment opportunities for students.
“Third Frontier criteria ensures not only that you have good science and engineering but also good commercialization potential,” said the school’s research director, Mike Hripko. “And each of (YSU’s four projects funded by Third Frontier) has demonstrated the promise of commercialization and advancement of the science,”
Founded in 2007, the STEM College received four concurrent grants from the state including a $1.6 million grant which funds a partnership with M-7 Technologies to develop manufacturing equipment.
Another $1 million will go to YSU’s Department of Material Science and Engineering Third Millennium Metals to study a carbon infused copper metallic composite that will reduce wire size and increase conductivity.
A third $1 million grant supports cooperation with Delphi Corporation on aluminum battery cable for use in electric and hybrid vehicles and the final $1 million goes to the Department of Chemistry for its work with Polyflow Inc. on converting polymer waste (i.e., plastic bottles, containers) into fuel. Another $600K is earmarked for capital equipment to support the research.
 “Youngstown is a hard-working town, and our students have a good work ethic that’s evident in their interfaces with our business partners,” said Hripko. “We have a reputation for being very business savvy and very manufacturing savvy. The college often works with industries which are indigenous to the region, advanced materials and advanced manufacturing, in particular.”
The university’s STEM College enrolls roughly 2,500 students plus 250 graduate students.

Cuyahoga Valley Career Center expo to promote STEM careers to area students

Ohio's new economy needs workers skilled in science, technology, engineering and math -- STEM -- as well as those who can think critically and make good decisions.

The Cuyahoga Valley Career Center in Brecksville is hoping to pave the way for northeast Ohio businesses by offering a STEM Career Expo on Feb. 5.

A partnership with the Cleveland Engineering Society, the Great Lakes Science Center and STEMout, an organization promoting STEM in the region, the expo is expected to attract about 400 students and parents and 40 businesses and other organizations, says Marie Elias, the career center's community liaison.

The STEM expo is an outgrowth of a similar engineering expo held for the last two years, she says.

"That was very successful, and we thought we would expand it this year to STEM because we know that all of STEM is important," Elias says.

The expo is free and is targeted to students in 9th through 12th grades and their parents. Held at the CCVC facilities, participants will be able to talk to various STEM-related companies staffing booths as well as watch hands-on demonstrations and listen to panel presentations.

"Parents and students can visit as many or as few booths as they want and talk to STEM professionals one on one," Elias says.

The idea is to help students and parents understand some of the career opportunities available in STEM disciplines -- a goal that ultimately ends with students remaining in the region and taking jobs with local companies.

"I don't think a lot of students understand how we use STEM in our everyday lives," Elias says. "We know is that certainly STEM is crticial and that is where the jobs will be."

The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to noon. You can register here.

Source: Maria Elias, Cuyahoga Valley Career Center
Writer: Gene Monteith

Battelle opens vast catalog to would-be licensees

Battelle Memorial Institute, one of the world's leading research and technology development organizations, is ready to shed its relative anonymity.

In a new effort to publicize the scope of its research, Battelle has added a searchable catalog to its website for those seeking licenses on its intellectual property and patents.

"We've always licensed technology. We've always done contract research for clients, and our industrial and government partners," says Spencer Pugh, Battelle's VP and manager of industrial and international markets. "We just never bragged about it much, or made it public."

The initial catalog of more than 60 patents ranges from medical and industrial system advancements, to advanced materials technology, consumer product innovations and green technologies. Metal-air batteries that increase efficiency in hearing aids and cell phones, cell therapy manufacturing systems, tankless cutting torches and thermal water treatment systems dot the list, which is just the tip of Battelle's research, Pugh explains.

Because it licenses some of its research to clients, they'll never be able to publicize the full range of the company's work.

The company, with headquarters in Columbus, has 130 locations worldwide with 22,000 employees. Battelle also co-manages seven national laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security, and a nuclear energy lab in the United Kingdom.

But, at its heart, Pugh says, Battelle is a charitable trust with an emphasis on furthering math and science education. With additional funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the company is a founding partner of the Ohio STEM Learning Network and one of the corporate leaders of the Change the Equation Initiative, a CEO-led effort dedicated to inspiring STEM students. It also continues to work with today's youth through its Battelle for Kids, Battelle Engineering Experience and Project Mentor programs, and sponsors numerous grants for education programs.

Source: Spencer Pugh, Battelle Memorial Institute
Writer: Dave Malaska

6 STEM Articles | Page:
Share this page