Breakfast of Science Champions Hosts 550 Middle School Students

Ohio State welcomed more than 550 Columbus City School middle school students to campus on Nov. 9 for the 2016 Breakfast of Science Champions. This year, 14 different host sites provided hands-on science activities to engage the students in a day of fun, interactive learning.

Middle school students work in a chemistry lab
Middle school students work on an experiment in a chemistry lab.

"This is an important event because it brings these middle schoolers into active research labs for a day and gives them the opportunity to meet and interact with faculty, graduate and undergraduate students at OSU," said Hannah Shafaat, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "For many, this is their first time on the OSU campus, and we want those impressions to be positive. Breakfast of Science Champions also offers an opportunity for our own students to become directly involved with outreach events, another important aspect of the educational experience."

Host sites were located in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Nursing and Pharmacy. From the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry alone, eight different principal investigators along with their research groups were involved with the event. The Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center is also an annual host site for the Breakfast of Science Champions.

Students present at Byrd Polar
Students present at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center.

"Each year, the Byrd Center has an opportunity to share our research with a new group of young students. This is also a time we are able to engage researchers, graduate students, and postdocs, many of whom have not been involved with outreach in the past, in our broader impact work," said Jason Cervenec, education and outreach director for the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. "This is a win-win for students in Columbus middle schools and researchers on campus. It is important to remember that almost everyone in science can remember a seminal event or events that first excited them about their discipline; often, these events were not in a traditional classroom setting. The Breakfast of Science Champions helps pass the torch to the next generation."

Students and OSU faculty and students

Students and OSU faculty and students

2016 Host sites:

  1. Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center
  2. Center for Applied Plant Sciences
    Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center
  3. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  4. Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences
    Department of Psychology
    Psychology Brain Experience
  5. Center for Cosmology and Astro Particle Physics
    Center for Emergent Materials
    Departments of Astronomy and Physics
  6. College of Nursing
  7. College of Pharmacy
  8. Biological Sciences Greenhouse
  9. Department of Neuroscience
  10. Department of Linguistics
  11. Ohio 4-H Youth Development
  12. Department of Entomology
    Department of Plant Pathology
  13. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  14. Department of Biomedical Engineering

Contact: Hannah Shafaat, shafaat.1@osu.edu