Ohio House of Science and Engineering

OHSE Elementary School Programs

  Wonders of Our World (W.O.W.) Program

About the program

WOW is an interactive science education program serving several elementary schools in the Columbus, Ohio area. Partnering with schools within the Columbus City Schools District, WOW staff develops hands-on experiments designed to increase both students' knowledge and interest in science at a young age. As an OSU affiliate, WOW takes Ohio State student volunteers, as well as industry and parent volunteers into the classrooms to present the experiments to classrooms full of children excited about learning.

Goals:

  •   Bring the excitement of scientific discovery into the classroom;
  •   Supplement existing science programs;
  •   Increase science equipment and content material available to teachers;
  •   Expand parent and scientist involvement in schools;
  •   Give teachers permanent access to the expertise of scientists at OSU and other local science enclaves.

How it works

W.O.W. program supports the elementary teachers by bringing hands-on science experiments into the classrooms. Teachers who are involved in the program are offered a series of at least six workshops, each focusing on a different concept, throughout the school year. At each workshop a detailed description of the project is provided. A set of handouts including teachers' guides for each experiment, a reference list with all citations for books that were used to generate the set of experiments, and a list of related children's literature is distributed to the teachers.


In the few days following each workshop, teachers choose the experiments they would like to do in their classrooms. Workshops are scheduled at least four weeks before classroom presentations, so the teachers have time to prepare any desired introductory work for their students. Classroom presentations of the projects, in which the elementary students work through the experiments typically take 45-60 minutes to perform.


Volunteers, who have been trained in workshops similar to the teacher workshops, help the teachers facilitate the experiments in the classroom and provide more individual assistance to the students. The organization of the W.O.W. program involves one lead scientist and a group of volunteer scientists for each school. The lead scientist coordinates the projects for the school and conducts the teacher workshops and volunteer training sessions. Volunteer scientists assist the teachers by helping facilitate the experiments in the classroom. There are currently more than 250 W.O.W. volunteers; most are scientists who work in the Columbus area, parents with a background or strong interest in science, or undergraduate science students.

How to get involved

If you are interested in having WOW in your school or volunteering in the program please contact, WOW Program Coordinator, Ms. Mirella Harrington. Email: harrington.239@osu.edu; Phone: (614) 688-0501.

For more information about W.O.W. program please visit our website at http://wow.osu.edu.

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  Science Fellows Supporting Teachers (SFST) - NSF GK-12 Program

About the program

The SFST program brings outstanding graduate students from the Ohio State college of mathematical and physical sciences and the college of engineering into 3rd-5th grade classrooms in the Columbus City Schools District. This GK-12 program is a school based model that serves an urban population. During the 2009-2010 school year, eight Fellows and eight Teachers from Columbus City Schools are participating in the program.

Goals:

  •   Prepare graduate students in engineering and science disciplines for professional and scientific careers;
  •   Improve graduate students’ communication, teaching, collaboration, and team building skills through interactions with teachers and students in K-12 schools;
  •   Enrich STEM learning and instruction in K-12 schools;
  •   Provide professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers;
  •   Strengthen and sustain partnerships between institutions of higher education and local school districts.

How it works

  •   Graduate students are partnered with a 3rd-5th grade teacher whom they work alongside for the academic year;
  •   Fellows spend 8-10 hours per week in the classroom teaching with their teacher partner;
  •   Teacher & Fellow teams develop and plan lessons together each week;
  •   Fellows bring exciting and new science activities that focus on an inquiry-based approach, which involves using hands-on experiments to develop each student’s understanding of science concepts.

How to get involved

*Please note that the program has been completed and hasn't been accepting any graduate students or teacher applicants. If you are interested in learning more about the program please contact, GK-12 Program Coordinator, Rocquel Waller. Email: rwaller@chemistry.ohio-state.edu; Phone: (614) 688-0501.


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