For Our Community: How a unique partnership benefits Columbus students

COSI and CoverMyMeds Expand STEM Training in Columbus

October 30, 2019  |  Jenny Rogers

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Right now, the visionaries of the future are enjoying their first few months of kindergarten. They’re taking part in their first science experiments. They’re enjoying educational experiences that will impact their futures and shape their career paths.

We want to ensure the innovators of tomorrow have the resources — and the opportunities — they need to be successful today, which is why we’re partnering with COSI to bring exceptional STEM education directly to students.

This fall, CoverMyMeds and COSI launched The Platform, a program that engages students who don’t traditionally have sufficient access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career paths. The program is designed for Columbus City Schools, with a focus on schools in the Franklinton and Hilltop neighborhoods.

“We all want a world where kids from anywhere can do big things, and where kids from everywhere get the support they need to try,” said CoverMyMeds President David Holladay. “We’re grateful to the Columbus City Schools and COSI for teaming up to embrace our community’s future STEM leaders and innovators and help them achieve their potential. This is another example of how growth in Franklinton can help create opportunity for people, and we look forward to continuing to invest in a brighter future for all.”

Why STEM, Why Now?

Between 2005 and 2015, U.S. STEM employment grew 24 percent, compared to 4 percent growth for non-STEM jobs, and this growth is projected to continue.1 Despite this positive growth, there’s a massive shortage of STEM workers in the U.S., especially among women and minority groups.

By curating a unique STEM curriculum for under-resourced, high-achieving students in our community — one that begins in middle school and continues after high school graduation — The Platform addresses the shortage of STEM workers as well as the lack of diversity within the field.

How The Platform Works

The Platform establishes a clear path toward rewarding STEM careers by supplementing participants’ education with computer programming and other technology training.

Participants receive on-site mentorship from COSI educators and local STEM professionals — and each group receives training customized for their age:

• Middle schoolers engage in STEM education throughout the academic year — and through a multi-week summer program — exploring themes like computer science, medicine, environmental science, gaming and robotics in a team-based environment.

• High school students also benefit from year-round engagement and a summer program, with courses and seminars exploring STEM fields and careers. In the summer, high schoolers focus on research and building their science presentation skills, as well as college application support and test prep.

• Post-graduation, students continue their relationships with The Platform. In college, participants receive regular check-ins from program staff, who track progress and help navigate new challenges.

Thirty students will pilot the program for the 2020/2021 school year: 15 students from grades six and nine. Each year, the program will add a grade, reaching full enrollment — 105 students — in the fifth year. Additionally, COSI is working with regional colleges and universities to ensure full scholarships for program graduates admitted to those schools.

Planning and development, as well as student recruitment, begins this school year. Learn more about the commitment to STEM education.

“CoverMyMeds always strives to do the right thing for the community, but it’s important for us to go above and beyond in Franklinton, the site of our new home,” said Community Engagement Manager Kate Bauer. “This commitment is about making a meaningful impact in a community that will produce the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.”

“We are thrilled to partner with CoverMyMeds to launch The Platform, our flagship youth program that will engage students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields and support their academic achievement from middle school through their collegiate years,” said COSI President and CEO Dr. Federic Bertley. “This program promotes diversity within STEM professions and prepares participants for long term success, positioning them to excel in future STEM career endeavors.”

Learn how we’re creating opportunities in Franklinton.

Sources

  1. STEM Jobs: 2017 Update, U.S. Department of Commerce
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