Ohio, Mass. use Sims, NASA to foster STEM education & jobs

Both Ohio and Massachusetts announced new initiatives to foster science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and jobs this week.

Ohio launched What’s Next? Ohio Career Sim, a Sim designed to help students find careers in the state that rely on STEM education and show them the pathway to getting hired in those fields. The site was created in collaboration with Scholastic and is part of the state’s plan to develop a 21st century workforce. The site’s launch is in concert with a regional STEM conference in Northwest Ohio, part of the state’s STEM Conference Series.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s creators and entrepreneurs,”  Governor Strickland said of the site. “By encouraging our young people to match their interests with potential career paths, we’re helping them discover growing industries right here in Ohio while also preparing them for a purposeful and productive future.”

The Ohio Career Sim will offer students information on scholarships, the state university system and will let them “try-on” different career choices.

Massachusetts is also working with NASA to support STEM education in the state. Massachusetts along with six other states will receive NASA’s Summer of Innovation Grants. Massachusetts will get a $1,515,024 grant as part of the pilot program designed by NASA to foster innovation and outreach for students in communities that are underserved or are underperforming in STEM education.

Throughout the summer, NASA will engage with middle school teachers and students in science-based education programming with the goal of increasing the number of future scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

“Through the Summer of Innovation project, NASA will work with partners and educators across America, to bring the excitement of space to thousands of middle school students, with an emphasis on broadening participation of underrepresented and underserved students,” NASA Administrator Bolden said.

Massachusetts’ proposal outlined six intensive summer programs that will focus on NASA’s robotics, Earth and space science, astrophysics and engineering missions to reach a diverse sample of the student population, with additional outreach for low-income and minority students.

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