One of the cornerstones of the YSU 2020 Strategic Plan is Community Engagement. For the STEM College, this often means outreach events for area K-12 schools. Our faculty is busy organizing events for area students. In the spring semester, it seems we have something almost every week. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the College and to provide some educational outreach to area students.
My role in these events is generally to provide welcome remarks to the students participating competition or festival. I enjoy these opportunities because it gives me a chance to talk about the importance of science and engineering and the critical function that these future STEM students will have in the success of our region. I can talk about the advances that have been made by our engineering graduates, and the success of our STEM alumni. It’s not only an opportunity to brag about YSU success stories, but also an opportunity to sell STEM fields in general.
The range of activities is highlighted on our STEM College web page (http://stem.ysu.edu). If you browse through the calendar, you will see that February started with the National Ocean Science Bowl, and then Mathcounts. In March, it’s the Mahoning Valley Miniature Bridge Building competition, the Northeast Ohio Robotics Education program, and the Physics Olympics. April brings Women in Science and Engineering and the STEM Showcase (which is our chance to show off the activities of our own students). Each one of these events has its target student population and specific flavor. Having a chance to meet these students and see the excitement that they have from participating is truly one of the highlights of being Dean.
Of course, we have other ways in which students from the community can engage with the College. We have regular planetarium shows and our mineral museum is open weekdays and weekends. We’re in the process of putting together an additive manufacturing display that will illustrate what’s going on at NAMII and we’re also building a display to highlight our efforts in alternative energy. These displays will be visible both in our lobby in Moser Hall, and at OH Wow! Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology. Our goal is to spread the word about science and engineering and all that we’re doing at YSU to give students the opportunity to excel in these areas.
Our community is a tremendous asset to YSU, and we’re fortunate to have your support. I continue to be grateful for all that you do to make YSU a leader in STEM education and outreach.