University partner receives $25,000

Batelle Memorial Institute announced a $25,000 grant to the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education at the University.

This brings Batelle’s total grant contribution to nearly $1.3 million.

The Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education is a partnership among higher education institutions, K-12 schools, other education institutions and businesses.

“Our mission is to advance STEM education for people of all ages,” said Bob Midden, director of NWO.

He said that partnerships are essential to doing so.

“This is one of the very best collaborations I’ve ever seen,” said University President Mary Ellen Mazy.

NWO’s work includes working with teachers to improve STEM Education and hosting STEM in the Park.

“We really can create schools that reach all kinds of kids,” said Aimee Kennedy, Battelle’s vice president of education, philanthropy and STEM learning. “The community of support that you guys have built in northwest Ohio really meets the needs of those kids and you should really be very proud of it.”

STEM Education isn’t just about a lot of science and math classes, Kennedy said.

“We really push against that notion, because we believe that STEM education is about critical thinking, problem solving, working in the real world … You need to be able to work across discipline, be a designed thinker and work with someone who is not like you.”

STEM Education is essential to future jobs, Mazey said.

“What we’re doing here in northwest Ohio is meeting the needs of the future labor force of this region and beyond.”

In Ohio, 26 percent of the population has a college education, Mazey said, while the national average is about 30 percent.

“There’s a great opportunity for us to educate that adult population … and recruit them to the STEM disciplines,” Mazey said. “We know that’s where the future employment is going to be.”

The adult population is not the only population to focus on in STEM recruitment.

“We need to recruit all the population … especially young women,” Mazey said. “Women are not going into the STEM disciplines at the same rate as men.”

Others emphasized the importance of STEM education as well.

“BP and many companies are looking for a well-educated work force,” said Mary Caprella, government and public affairs director for BP.

BP is one of NWO’s corporate sponsors.

David Enzerra, president of the Lubrizol Foundation, was another partner present.​

“The earlier that students become interested in exploring the many different career paths that are available to them through STEM, the better they will be positioned for lifelong and professional success,” Enzerra said.