Middle school girls explore STEM projects, learn about careers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Jun 20, 2017) — 

Fifteen Ohio middle school girls were chosen to spend a week of their summer break investigating complex science problems while discovering career opportunities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

YWSI is designed to promote computer, math, science and engineering skills as well as provide hands-on experiences.

The students are attending the Ohio Supercomputer Center’s annual Young Women’s Summer Institute (YWSI) from June 25 – July 1 on the campus of The Ohio State University. Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) staff members established YWSI to provide middle school girls with real-world experience in STEM fields. Students get hands-on experience working on scientific problems while developing their science, math and engineering skills.

“The program makes science fun and encourages girls to actively pursue future careers in science, technology, and mathematics,” said Steve Gordon, Ph.D., senior director of Education at the OSC and a co-founder of the program. “The participating girls gain self-confidence while learning about new science concepts and role models of successful women scientists.”

YWSI students will take field trips focused on science and engineering, as well as complete group projects that include studying the effects of humans on wildlife, learning about the hydrologic cycle and measuring water quality. The students will gain first-hand experience by visiting various watersheds in central Ohio, as well as touring the nearby Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. The students also will gain a taste of campus life by living in dorms throughout the week-long camp.

Birce Onal, a YWSI residential adviser and career panelist, has seen the benefits of YWSI for its participants. “YWSI, SI and programs like this target three key areas to bring more women into STEM: creating a community, making science fun, and exposing young women to fields they were unaware of,” said Onal, a graduate research associate at Ohio State’s College of Engineering. “These programs target young women at an age when learning heavily depends on a positive social community. The camps allow smart young women to meet each other, work in groups and talk openly with each other about science and their lives.”

OSC provides additional education programs for STEM enrichment through the Summer Institute, designed for high school-aged students to engage in scientific research while working with some of the nation’s best computer technologies.


EDITORS: The following identifies the students selected for YWSI. The list is arranged alphabetically by first name and identifies each student’s school.

Adeti Mohanselvan, Columbus Academy

Allison Fish, Davis Middle School

Amrita Kohli, New Albany Middle School

Annay Downing, Wedgewood Middle School

Carrington Kynard, Springfield Middle School

Deanna Hu, Mason Middle School

Emma Wallace, Batavia Middle School

Hannah DePuydt, Royalmont Academy

Hannah Tullock, Bowling Green Middle School

Isabel Rodriguez, Union Elementary

Julia Foringer, Green Intermediate School

Kennedy O’Dell, Glenwood Middle School

Marissa Shoemaker, Glenwood Middle School

Molly Smith, Batavia Middle School

Ta-Mar Brathwaite, Columbus Collegiate Academy

The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), a member of the Ohio Technology Consortium of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, addresses the expanding computational demands of academic and industrial research communities by providing a robust shared infrastructure and proven expertise in advanced modeling, simulation and analysis. OSC empowers researchers with the vital services essential to make extraordinary discoveries and innovations, partners with businesses and industry to leverage computational science as a competitive force in the global knowledge economy, and leads efforts to equip the workforce with the key technology skills required to secure 21st century jobs. For more, visit www.osc.edu(link sends e-mail).