Picture high school students working with teachers, undergraduates, faculty, experts from industry and governmental agencies in groups transforming the way science is learned from kindergarten through graduate school. Picture the same groups working collaboratively to construct curricula that inspire students of all ages to pursue careers in STEM subjects. Picture students constructing a science curriculum in which the students themselves answer their own questions posed to address issues which they have identified in their own local environments. Picture a classroom of once disinterested students explaining to educators how to reform STEM education to inspire students to become STEM teachers or engage in STEM careers. Now provide funds for those students to attend college in STEM careers and watch the dream of helping more of Ohio's citizens to succeed in STEM careers and STEM education become a reality.
The Choose Ohio First ISLS program is designed with the main outcomes to:
1) significantly increase the participation and success of Ohio undergraduates in pursuing and completing STEM majors by making university study financially possible for these students who are already engaged and excited about studying STEM subjects through the highly successful ISLS STEM high school experience;
2) extend the p-20 learning community model of the ISLS experience to these and other university level students through their participation in STEM research and education internships and through ISLS face to face and virtual mentoring actively used by today's students, and
3) transform the curriculum of STEM classrooms at all levels by engaging these high school, soon to be undergraduate champions of STEM education reform with their undergraduate, graduate and faculty "peers" in challenging undergraduate curricula and action research-based learning experiences that foster their development as formal and informal STEM educators throughout their lives. By engaging these ISLS alumni, partners will build upon already established k-12/university/industry/agency partnerships in making the p-20 seamless education experience a reality for the State of Ohio with additional outcome of transforming STEM educator training at all levels to a clinical action research based model.
The ISLS Choose Ohio First Program :
The ISLS COF Scholarship Program provides more than financial support. Modeled on the larger ISLS program we believe in a holistic approach to ensure student success. The program includes:
- Annual scholarships for tuition;
- Advising to assist with identifying and meeting student academic, professional and personal goals;
- Research, internship and community service opportunities;
- Mentoring by science and education faculty associated with the ISLS program; and
- Social events incorporating scholarly discussion of common readings and local events in science associated with the ISLS program.
All efforts are designed with the needs of each individual scholar taken into consideration creating a personalized experience within the learning community of the ISLS COF program.