Mission STEM-Possible
Closing Celebration

Mission STEM Possible girls work on an experiment

For twenty-nine 8th grade girls from Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls (CCPSG), the time spent in Mission STEM-Possible opened their eyes to the world of science. Over the school year, they participated in interactive and hands-on STEM career exploration workshops, followed by discussions and writing sessions during which participants reflected on what they learned. In all, the students took part in sessions with the following Ohio State University colleges: Optometry, Nursing, Dentistry, Engineering, Veterinary Science, Food Science, Public Health, Biological Sciences, and Plant Pathology. Ohio State faculty also led career exploration workshops to heighten the girls’ awareness of and appreciation for STEM careers where women, and especially women of color, are often underrepresented. The program, funded by the American Association of University Women, was developed by Victoria Dunn, director of Leadership Initiatives for Women of Color in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Dr. Barbara Fink, faculty fellow in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Chair of the Committee for Inclusion and Diversity at the College of Optometry.

At the May 20th closing ceremony, the girls were asked what their favorite part of the program was and what they learned about the sciences. The answers were often funny, with remarks such as “being grossed out was kind of fun” (in reference to the dissection of cow’s eyes and termite observation, both popular experiments) and “you don’t have to look weird to be a scientist!”  Despite the humor, the underlying message from the girls was encouraging, with comments about Mission STEM-Possible ranging from how the program “took me outside to a world I didn’t know existed” to “no matter who you are, you can do science.” The program had a definite impact on the students’ perceptions of STEM-related careers; after participating, there was an eleven percent increase in the number of participants who stated that they plan to have a job in a STEM field. As one participant stated, “I now know that you run into science wherever you go, so where would we be without science?”

Mission STEM-Possible will take place in the 2014-2015 academic year thanks to generous funding from Honda of America Manufacturing.

2014 Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls
Mission STEM-Possible Participants

Ciara Bailey                   Rhema Johnson
Jocelyn Bailey               Latham Kerrington
Averi Brown                   Madysson Lindsey-Smith
Akosua Dankwa            Marissa Mercier
Briah Davis                     Morgan Mewborn
Tifanie Davis                  Nadia Ortega
Mallory Eichler               Faith Pendleton
Cielo Garcia                   Lindsey Smith
Soliana Gebremeskel   Brittany Stewart
Melat Geda                    Faith Sutton
Dulce Grande                Monica Thompson
Tay’Aja Hammons          Ayana Thornton
K’Lazjera Hardy             Olivia Turner
Kelilah Hord                   Demetria Weaver-Brown
Zaniya Hunnicutt