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STEAMM Rising Columbus Aims to Grow Talent Through Education, Partnerships

September 23, 2021 -- A new collaboration between The Ohio State University, the City of Columbus, Columbus City Schools and Columbus State Community College has been established to grow the next generation of teachers and students focused on innovation.

STEAMM Rising Columbus is a new initiative to collectively develop STEAMM talent in Columbus and ensure that talent thrives in the university’s Innovation District and elsewhere. STEAMM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and medicine.

“We think we collaborate better here in Columbus than anywhere around the country and the world. The great partnership … is working to make sure that the children in Columbus neighborhoods see themselves in this incredible, new Innovation District, and are going to lead us forward in the future,” Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said today at an East High School event announcing the initiative.

The Innovation District located on Ohio State’s west campus is envisioned as a technology hub and talent magnet to enable leading-edge research, technology translation, experiential learning and startup incubation. STEAMM Rising Columbus will help prepare the workforce in central Ohio to capitalize on the region’s investments and opportunities.

“At Ohio State, where our annual research and development expenditures approach $1 billion, we clearly have much to contribute, in terms of giving Columbus K-12 students a sense of what it means to work in creative or discovery-oriented fields,” said Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson. “With our wonderful partners, we are going to create pathways that convey children – from kindergarten in the Columbus City Schools, all the way through Columbus State Community College and Ohio State – to extraordinary contributions that they will make to our city, our state, and our world.”

STEAMM Rising Columbus will create a summer institute to train and develop 500 STEAMM teachers in the next five years. The initiative also establishes STEAMM Pathways among the participating educational institutions to develop and share curriculum to provide more access to this specialized education.

“We know what our students are capable of, and we must continue to steer them down these pathways rich with academic opportunities – opportunities that will allow them to lead an innovation economy,” said Columbus City Schools Superintendent and CEO Talisa Dixon. “Over the next five years, teachers across all grade levels and content areas will get to take advantage of unique professional development, summer institutes and grant opportunities that will enable them to embed STEAMM thinking into their classrooms.”

“What STEAMM Rising does is give us an opportunity to create an innovation district throughout Columbus,” said Columbus State Community College President David T. Harrison. “The ability to connect with these great partners to create that kind of ecosystem is something that will truly set Columbus and Ohio apart, nationally. This is an opportunity for a systemic focus on equitable pathways to good jobs and high growth careers.”

The initiative calls for at least one STEAMM lead teacher in targeted schools across Columbus City Schools. As part of a STEAMM Scholars program, at least 25 Columbus students will be named as STEAMM scholars in the next five years.

STEAMM Rising Columbus will also deploy the university’s Mobile Design Lab to create activities for students to get comfortable with coding and become creative with digital design and tools, while encouraging more experienced users to get outside of their comfort zone and to build connections. The design lab can also serve as a hub for engaging with teachers and students.

Release courtesy of The Ohio State University.