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K-12 Engineering Outreach wins top Ohio State Outreach award

The K-12 Engineering Outreach program, led by Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering associate chair Betty Lise Anderson, won the 2015 University Outreach and Engagement Recognition Award Wednesday.

The Ohio State University Office of Outreach and Engagement honored the K-12 Engineering Outreach Program and other award recipients at a ceremony held in the Archie Griffin East Ballroom prior to the Patterson Lecture at the Union.

By earning the overall top partnership, Anderson, program assistant Clayton Greenbaum, and numerous student volunteers, will now serve as the university’s nominee for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award. The group was also presented the Distinguished Community Engagement Award.

The K-12 Engineering Outreach Program has developed hands-on engineering projects for K-12 schools, as part of the Capstone Design, and members then visit the schools with the help of approximately 50 Ohio State student volunteers per year. Together, they have collectively visited 78 schools, plus camps, after-school programs, STEM clubs, scouts, 4H and more, reaching 9,000 K-12 students since 2008. They target primarily underserved populations, minority-rich schools, and more recently branched out to rural areas, special-needs kids, and even traveled to Colombia to bring their activities to children there. Ohio State students also develop and post online detailed instructions for teachers anywhere to use, along with PowerPoints, videos, and specific and detailed parts lists.

As this effort is now going international with a study abroad trip to Colombia (under funding from BETHA), members are also developing all-cartoon instructions that can be used by anyone anywhere in the world, regardless of language. One example project involves building a paper speaker that can be connected to a mp3 player or phone that really plays music. Costing less than 50 cents each, every kid gets to take one home (and it's also a microphone).

Community Partners Involved: Whetstone High School, Rosemore Middle School, North American Young Generation in Nuclear, Royal Manor Elementary After School Program, Universidad Minuto de Dios (Bogotá, Colombia), plus many more schools and community organizations

Ohio State Colleges/Units Involved: College of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Watch a new video about the K-12 Engineering Outreach Program: https://youtu.be/OAuUr87g4ck