Springfield News-Sun: Science school picks first director

Posted: 5:05 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, 2013
 By Megan Gildow Anthony Staff Writer

SPRINGFIELD — A local farmer-turned-educator will be the founding director of the new Springfield-based agricultural science school. The Global Impact STEM Academy Governing Board on Tuesday unanimously approved hiring Joshua Jennings, 34, as the school’s first permanent director.

Proposed by Sen. Chris Widener, R-Springfield, the academy will be the first industry-focused regional science, technology, engineering and math school in the state. It is slated to open in August at Clark State Community College’s Leffel Lane campus and later relocate to South High School.

Jennings, a Clark County native, is a graduate of the Ohio State University with a degree in agriculture. After college, he returned home and worked in agriculture, farming the more than 200 acres he owns with his wife and working at another local farm. He started his career in education at Northeastern Local Schools, where he taught agriculture and advised the FFA. He is currently the director of career technical education at the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center. “The ag-bioscience and the food science, that was right in my wheelhouse, so it was kind of just a perfect fit,” Jennings said. Jennings said he was attracted to the position because of the challenge of building something from the ground up. Jennings will finish out the year at the CTC and will work as a consultant with Interim Director Carl Berg until he takes over July 1. Jennings will be paid $94,000 a year.

Backers say the STEM school is not only an educational opportunity but a workforce development tool that will fulfill job needs for one of Ohio’s largest industries. Agriculture accounts for one in seven Ohio jobs, according to Widener. “(Jennings) understands the tie-in between education and workforce development. He gets it,” said Berg. “You don’t have to explain it to him, he gets it. He understands there’s a real linkage between providing and helping kids get a good education and what that means to them in their livelihood.” Jennings’ experiences in education and the agriculture industry will be an asset to the school, said board Chair Ed Leventhal. “I think he brings a lot of those things together in terms of agriculture, business, education, good experience, and I believe is passionate about the mission for the agricultural STEM (education),” said Leventhal.

Jennings said his family has a long-established history in education in Clark County. He and his wife own the family farm and his great-grandfather was a member of A.B. Graham’s first 4-H club in 1902, which Widener has previously compared to the STEM school. “Some of the experiences and successes he had he attributed to … being a part of that (club),” said Jennings. “What I hope is that this endeavor here has the potential to be just as important in the future.”


Springfield News-Sun: First-of-its-kind school to open here

Partners sign papers to help launch bioscience academy in former South High School building.

An agreement signed Monday will create the state’s first academy to train local students for high-paying jobs in an in-demand field.

The bioscience academy, which will be in the former South High School, will prepare more students for food, fuel and fiber-related careers, which supporters said have high growth but insufficient student turnout.

The nonprofit Global Impact STEM Academy is expected to open next school year. It will be one of only five such schools in the country, officials said.

About 200 residents and community leaders turned out to watch representatives from partners Springfield City Schools, Clark State Community College, Wright State University and the Dayton Development Coalition — serving as the regional representative for JobsOhio — sign the articles incorporating the 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Sen. Chris Widener, R-Springfield, said the average salary for a bioscience professional is $68,000.

“I’m very pleased to declare tonight the beginning for the next step in STEM education used for job creation and workforce development right here in Springfield, Ohio,” Widener said. “Agriculture, as you know, provides one in seven jobs in this state.”

Start-up and renovation costs to put the academy in 70,000 square feet of the historic former South High will be about $10.5 million, most of which has already been raised through public and private funding.

A required local match to renovate the building is less than a half-million short of the $1.5 million needed, said Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce President Mike McDorman. He’s confident the funds will be raised by the end of the year.

“We’re working toward the final push to complete that campaign, hopefully by the end of the year,” McDorman said. “I think we’ll achieve the $1.5 million with no problem.”

Half of the estimated $9 million renovation of South High School will be paid for by the Ohio School Facilities Commission and half from the local match and state funding sources. The building will be leased from Springfield City Schools for $1 each year.

Ohio State University and Battelle Memorial Institute will join the lead partners to raise the $3 million still needed for the renovation match.

Those two institutions also pledged $350,000 in start-up funding. It’s expected the state education system will fund most of the $1 million needed in the second year, based on the number of students, Widener said.

“We found these kinds of schools really do produce results for all level students,” Widener said.

No details on the academy’s staffing were available Monday. That will be determined by the curriculum yet to be finalized by the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and the Clark County Educational Service Center, Springfield district spokeswoman Kim Fish said.

In June, Widener estimated Global Impact would bring 50 to 60 jobs to the community.

Ohio State University will assist in developing the curriculum, saving the project more money, Widener said.

Founders want to work directly with businesses on internships for students, who also would be involved in project-based, hands-on learning.

The Springfield City Board of Education voted last week to appoint Board President Ed Leventhal and member Wanda Truss to the academy’s inaugural board of directors. Dayton Development Coalition appointed Jeff Hoagland, its president and CEO.

Neither Clark State or Wright State had appointed its board members by Monday night, though representatives were on hand to sign the documents.

The 13-member board will consist of the president or designee each from Clark State Community College and Wright State University, and the superintendent or designee from Springfield City School District, according to the articles of incorporation.

Each institution will also have two sitting board members and an employer/business executive appointed by their respective organizations. The Dayton Development Coalition will have one board member.

Widener championed the idea for the school and worked to push it through all year. He said the concept came after he attended a Clark County Farm Bureau meeting where he heard about the need for more agriculture and science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

A.B. Graham started the first nation’s 4-H club in Springfield on Jan. 15, 1902.

“But more importantly, A.B. Graham had just a little bigger vision,” Widener said. “Listen to his own words: ‘Elevate the standard of living in Ohio, emphasize the importance of hard work and habits of industry with our young people, acquaint the youth with their environment and scientific investigations, and inspire youth to further education in science.’ Ladies and gentlemen, that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

First-of-its-kind school to open hereSpringfield High School seniors Valarie Sparks, right, and Rachel Adams demonstrate how to make soy-based lip balm as several students demonstrated soy bio-based science projects Monday at a formal signing ceremony creating the Global Impact STEM Academy at South High School. Representatives from Springfield City School District, Clark State Community College, Wright State University and the Dayton Development Coalition were on hand to sign the nonprofit’s articles of incorporation. Staff photo by Bill LackeyView Larger

First-of-its-kind school to open hereA formal signing ceremony creating the Global Impact STEM Academy at South High School was held at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1. Representatives from Springfield City School District, Clark State Community College, Wright State University and the Dayton Development Coalition were on hand to sign the nonprofit’s articles of incorporation. Staff photo by Bill LackeyView Larger

First-of-its-kind school to open here
Sen. Chris Widener speaks during a formal signing ceremony creating the Global Impact STEM Academy at South High School on Monday. Representatives from Springfield City School District, Clark State Community College, Wright State University and the Dayton Development Coalition were on hand to sign the nonprofit’s articles of incorporation. Staff photo by Bill LackeyBy Mark McGregor

 By the numbers

• 200 ninth- and 11th-graders the first year
• 600 ninth- through 12-graders maximum within several years
• 51 districts whose students could attend

• 700 S. Limestone St. in the former South High School
• 70,000 square feet, one third of building’s available space
• 24 to 27 classrooms
• Fall 2013, expected opening

• Estimated $10.5 million total in renovation and start-up costs from various public and private funders
• $9 million in building renovations; half local and state fundraising, and half from Ohio School Facilities Commission
• $1 per year building lease from Springfield City Schools
• Estimated $8,000 per student

Funds raised
• $1.1 million in local renovation match raised from Clark County government, city of Springfield, Dayton Development CoalisionSpringfield and Turner foundations, Port Authority, private companies related to agriculture and bioscience and other public and private entities
• $350,000 in startup pledges from Ohio State University and Battelle Memorial Institute

Remaining funds to be secured
• $400,000 local match remaining for renovations
• $3 million from a variety of agiscience companies and others for renovations
• State education funding

• Number and average wage unknown until curriculum is set

Sources: Springfield City Schools Spokeswoman Kim Fish, Sen. Chris Widener, Springfield Chamber President Mike McDorman

For nearly 10 months the Springfield News-Sun tracked the creation of a multi-million dollar regional agriscience academy to be located in Springfield. Our reporters followed the costs associated with opening the nonprofit Global Impact STEM Academy, were the first to report its location and explain why officials said Clark County needed one.

Read More

WDTN: New agriscience stem school announced

Updated: Monday, 01 Oct 2012, 8:28 PM EDT

Published : Monday, 01 Oct 2012, 8:28 PM EDT

Jill Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) - A new stem school will have an army of educators in its corner.

The new Global Impact STEM Academy was formally announced Monday night at the old South High School in Springfield.

The school will be backed by the likes of the Springfield City Schools, Clark State Community College, Wright State University and the Dayton Development Coalition.

The school will be a first of its kind in Ohio. It will focus on Agriscience including the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The Ohio State University and the Ohio Farm Bureau are expected to provide guidance for the new venture.

Organizers say agriculture provides one out of every seven jobs in Ohio.

Read More

Enon Eagle: South HIgh School to be Home of Ohio's First Global Impact STEM Academy

Written by Kathy Voytko

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 00:00

Clark County is just days away from joining the national spotlight as the home of the first Global Impact STEM Academy in Ohio. There is only one other school in the nation that will provide high school students with the opportunity of a lifetime. The school is modeled after the Biotechnology Agriscience STEM School located in North Carolina. State Senator Chris Widener has been leading the way for the historical South High School building in Springfield to be turned into the home of a high school where students will not only earn a high school diploma, but a college transcript with up to two years of college credit.

Widener explained at a public hearing held at the Springfield City Schools Clark Center that 1 in 7 jobs involve food, fuel or fiber. The school will have a curriculum centered on energy, advanced materials, aerospace, automotive, bioscience and food service. The goal is to prepare the students of today for the jobs that will lead us into the future. According to Widener, by the year 2050, food production will need to increase by 100%, leading to the need for creative ideas to feed the global population. Students will work on group projects and experience digital learning provided by The Ohio State University, Clark State and Wright State. Battelle, a leader in innovation, will also be involved in designing and preparing the programs. Students will have internship opportunities with companies across the region while taking their classes. Unlike other programs, the students will be able to stay connected to their home school for participation in sports, band and choir for example.

The school will be funded by public schools funds that will follow the students selected for the program and will be selected using an application process. Widener stated that the students selection “will not be based on GPA,” but rather on the answers they provide on the application. An interview process with student and parent will also be part of the selection process. The plan is to begin advertising the opportunity to students in the region beginning in January. The first classes for grades 9 and 11 (186 students) is scheduled to begin at the start of classes in the fall of 2013.

South High School was selected because “it is too valuable of an asset” not to be used said Widener. The Springfield City Schools Board of Education and administration worked with Senator Widener to make this school become a reality. The board realizes that when the school is at full capacity (600), they stand to lose 1.5 million dollars in student funding, however the opportunity to provide students with this program was something they had to embrace. Final steps for use of the building will be taken at the next board meeting. Widener explained that all of the Clark County superintendents were included in the discussions leading up to the planning for the project. Funding for the renovations is reported to be 9 million dollars. The Ohio Schools Facility Commission will provide half of the funds with the remaining to be raised by donations. Widener stated that a number of industry leaders that will benefit from the graduates are resources for the remaining funds.

Anyone wishing to learn more about STEM schools that are working with Ohio State may visit www.themetroschool.org. To learn more about the Global Impact STEM Academy, visit GISAohio.blogspot.com. Students from Clark, Greene, Montgomery, Champaign, Madison and other counties will soon be applying for a spot in a high school program that will change their lives and the way America thinks about preparing the leaders of tomorrow.

Read More

Springfield News Sun: Board OKs STEM school partnership

Former South High School announced as future site.

By Mark McGregor, Staff Writer


Springfield City Board of Education members agreed Thursday to partner with two local higher educations institutions and a regional development group to create the much anticipated Global Impact STEM Academy, to be housed at the shuttered South High School.

The school board’s 4-0 decision came just days before the expected ceremonial signing of the nonprofit science, technology, engineering and mathematics academy’s articles of incorporation, scheduled for Monday night at South High School. Board Member Jamie Callan was absent.

“We want to invite all the public, this whole community, to come and see the ceremonial signing of the documents that’s going to create the new Global Impact STEM Academy that will be housed in that building,” Superintendent David Estrop said.

“Obviously we’re pleased that we’ve been able to find a way to save a marvelous, old historic building, as well as contribute to the economic development of our community, both the downtown area and the area immediately adjacent to South,” he said. “And more importantly, be able to do so in a manner that creates more opportunities for our children and better jobs for our children.”

Springfield Promise Neighborhood Project Director Bob Welker applauded the board for its decision.

“We just need a round of applause for this amazing moment with this resolution that you just passed that’s going to create this STEM school. This is a huge deal for our community,” he said. “I work in that area adjacent to (South) and it’s given us a lot of hope. It’s going to be a healing moment in our community.”

The academy has been under discussion since State Sen. Chris Widener, R-Springfield, pitched the idea in January.

Representatives from partners Springfield City Schools, Clark State Community College, Wright State University and the Dayton Development Coalition — serving as the regional partner of JobsOhio — are expected to be on hand to sign the articles of incorporation at Monday’s event.

The education board also appointed Leventhal and board member Wanda Truss or their designees to the STEM academy’s inaugural board of directors.

The academy’s board of directors would consist of 13 members, including the president or designee each from Clark State Community College and Wright State University, and the superintendent or designee from Springfield City School District, according to the articles of incorporation.

Each institution would also have two sitting board members and an employer/business executive selected by their respective organizations. The Dayton Development Coalition — serving as the regional partner of JobsOhio — will have one board member.

South High School had been pushed by officials as a possible location for the academy, but had not been previously confirmed as the official site, according to Springfield News-Sun records. The academy would occupy about 70,000 square feet of South and renovate the space using about $4.5 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission and about $4.5 million in raised funds.

Officials hope to open the academy in the fall of 2013 with an inaugural group of about 200 students in ninth and 11th grades. They said it would be the first of its kind in Ohio and is expected to receive guidance and support from The Ohio State University, The Ohio Farm Bureau, Battelle Memorial Institute and agriscience businesses.

“It’s a huge leap of faith for a lot of people to go forward with a program like this and it shows the confidence that everyone has in the potential that we have here in Springfield,” school board Vice President Donna Picklesimer said. “With the full partnership it will allow this to go forward in a very vigorous way but still allow us back here to stay focused on what’s important.” Read More...


What: Formal signing for the Global Impact STEM Academy

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday

Where: South High School, Tiffany Gynmasium, 700 S. Limestone St.

Who: State Sen. Chris Widener, representatives from Springfield City Schools, Clark State Community College, Wright State University, Dayton Development Coalition serving as the regional partner of JobsOhio and Springfield High School students demonstrating soybean-based projects.

Springfield News-Sun: Survey supports ag bioscience school for Springfield

By Megan Gildow Anthony, Staff Writer

A majority of parents and students surveyed said they would consider a science, technology, engineering and math-focused high school if available in the Clark County area.

The survey, part of market research funded by the Springfield City School District for $14,500, tested the marketability of an agricultural STEM school called the Global Impact STEM Academy, proposed by Sen. Chris Widener, R-Springfield.

Nearly 85 percent of the more than 500 Clark County parents surveyed — a sample size larger than many political surveys — said they thought the STEM school was a good idea. Seventy-three percent said they would allow a child who wanted to attend the school to enroll.

“We think we have a pretty favorable, pretty marketable idea, things that parents like,” said Widener.

In a similar survey of students, 63 percent responded that they thought the plan for the school was a good idea. About 28 percent said they would attend the school and 50 percent said they might attend.

Students and parents in the survey responded affirmatively to other parts of the plan as well, including the school’s partnership with the Ohio State University.

Widener hopes the Global Impact STEM Academy, which would focus on agricultural biosciences, would be the first of a network of similar schools around the state.

During a community meeting last week hosted by the city schools, several residents and community leaders spoke in support of the school, especially a plan to re-use South High School, which closed as a school in 2008, as the school’s location. The STEM school would occupy about 70,000 square feet in South High and renovate the space using about $4.5 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission and $4.5 million in fundraising.

Officials hope to open the school in the fall of 2013 with an inaugural group of about 200 students in 9th and 11th grades.

“This school’s going to grab a bunch of those kids that can’t do things in a regular classroom, but they get over there and they can really bloom. We’ve spent so long trying to teach everybody the same way … I really believe that this is another piece of that puzzle that will make things work for kids,” said Basil Fett, a retired Huber Heights teacher who lives in Springfield.

Jordan Copeland, who coaches middle school basketball for the city schools, said he had seen several companies mentioned by Widener as potential industry employers, at a recent job fair.

“Those companies were there recruiting engineers, chemical engineers, bioscience engineers,” he said. “If they’re coming out of Springfield, I just think that’d be awesome.”

Copeland said he liked that the school would include project-based learning.

“I think actually seeing those things, getting hands-on, getting experience is something that a lot of kids in our community don’t necessarily get the opportunities to do,” he said. “A school like this just would provide some of these kids a chance no one else in the state’s getting.”

A retired agriculture teacher from New Carlisle, Paul Snyder stressed the importance of internships and experience if the school were to be located in the city.

“If you’re gonna have it here.. because it’s in the inner city and unrelated to rural areas I think you want to really emphasize and have the internships,” he said.

If the plan comes to fruition, the Global Impact STEM Academy would be the first regional STEM school in the state to tie itself to an industry. Approximately one in seven Ohio jobs are in the agricultural field, according to Widener.
The Global Impact STEM Academy by the numbers
70,000 square feet of space needed for the STEM school
1 in 7 Ohio jobs in the agriculture field
2013-14 school year goal for opening the Global Impact STEM Academy
200 students wanted for the first year
$9 million in renovations at South High location
$4.5 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission for renovations
$4.5 million from fundraising for renovations

Read Article at Springfield News-Sun

ABC 22 News Now Reports:

Vacant School to Reopen as Ag STEM School (Video)

SPRINGFIELD -- The former Springfield South High School building has been vacant for years and is now making history. The school will be called Global Impact Stem School because they believed that the students can make a global impact.

Leo Banks went to Springfield South High School 30 years ago and now works across the street.

"They should've never closed the school anyway," he said. "Too many problems with so many kids at The other high school."

Students haven't walked through the halls of Springfield South High school for four years but all that is about to change once the Global Impact Agriculture Stem School opens up next fall.

Nearly 100 parents students teachers and Springfield City Board members gathered tonight to discuss the new school and what would mean for the students. Most everyone was in support.

"They can have a better future, more job opportunities and mainly to be able to get excited about the future of our world," said Cynthia Harshaw of Springfield.

Students grades 9 & 11 will be attending this school next year and in the following years they will expand to include 600 students.

All of those students will be able to receive two years of college credit for attending this school.

"We're going to bring the employers to the table and say what do you need for employees so that people can get jobs," said senator Chris Widener. "We can provide that in high school."

The stem school will cost about $9 million but taxpayers won't have to pay a dime. The State of Ohio will help out and they are also expecting donations from local foundations & Ag science corporations.

Someone like Banks couldn't be more excited.

"Great for community could be good for tire city good for the economy," said Banks.

Wright State, Clark state and Springfield city schools will also be working as sponsors for this school. There's only going to be one other similar school in the country. It's in North Carolina.

Dayton Business Journal: Biotech Jobs Booming in Ohio

Biotech jobs booming in Ohio

Date: Thursday, September 20, 2012, 2:51pm EDT
Laura Englehart, Staff Reporter- Dayton Business Journal

Ohio has added 8,500 bioscience-related jobs in a little more than a decade, according to a new report.

There were 1,491 jobs created or retained in the Dayton region in just the past four years alone, leading to a huge surge in local biotech employment at hundreds of companies in the region. Among the largest new projects in the region is the new Abbott Laboratories nutrition plant in Tipp City that is being built at a total cost of $270 million and will employ 240 people when operational.

Employment in the industry climbed 16.5 percent from 2000 to 2011, while the number of overall in Ohio declined, said the report released Wednesday by Columbus-based BioOhio, a nonprofit industry proponent.
Marked growth was cramped slightly from 2010 to 2011 when direct employment in the sector dropped slightly by 230 jobs.

The industry includes drug developers, medical devices makers and research laboratories, along with agricultural biotechnology.

Within the western region — which includes Montgomery County; it’s contiguous counties to the north, west and east; and Fayette, Champaign, Shelby, Auglaize and Mercer counties — there are about 18,870 bioscience jobs.

The region added 18 new biosciences companies from 2007 to 2011, the least amount of six Ohio regions, except the southeast, which tied that number. The northeast region, anchored by Cleveland and Akron, added 181.

There are more than 200 total biosciences locations in the western region. Medical device manufacturers make up the majority of those employers.

Local medical device makers include West Chester-based AtriCure Inc., Dayton-based DRT Medical LLC, Centerville-based DG Medical, Dayton-based GemCity Engineering and Manufacturing, Vandalia-based Innovative Medical Device Solutions, Dayton-based Mauch Inc. and Miamisburg-based X-spine Systems Inc.

Pharmaceutical companies also have a healthy presence in the region. They include Alkermes Inc. in Wilmington, Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Butler County; Aptalis Pharma, formerly Eurand, in Vandalia; and Encore Pharmaceuticals Inc. in West Chester.


Springfield News-Sun: OSU sees farming uses for drones

Clark County’s ties to drone work, farming jobs could make good fit for ag UAVs. 

The same technology used to hunt militants in the Mideast could one day be put to use on farms here in the Midwest.

A researcher from Ohio State University envisions the day — less than a decade from now — when a farmer waters the crops then launches an unmanned aerial vehicle to monitor precisely where the water went.

“I definitely think this is a staple of future farming operations,” predicted Matt McCrink, a 27-year-old Ph.D. student in aerospace engineering.

The university this week put its inaugural drone prototype on public display for the first time at the Farm Science Review, an annual showcase of ag technology that runs through Thursday at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in Madison County.

The Dayton-Springfield region already is positioning itself to be a nationally recognized hub of UAV research and development, and a drone for agricultural use hits home even further — one of every seven jobs in Ohio is tied to farming.  Read More...

The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State | Ag college blooms as focus goes past farms

Students are flocking to Ohio State University’s agriculture college as more people become aware of pressing issues such as growing obesity rates in the United States, world hunger and the need to protect natural resources.

Since 2005, total enrollment at OSU’s College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Science has increased 15 percent to 3,348 students last year. Fueling that growth are both undergraduate and graduate students whose numbers each jumped 26 percent.

There has been an 11 percent decline in students attending Ohio State’s two-year technical program in Wooster. But officials say that can be attributed to fewer students taking gardening classes, which they now get from community programs. More students are also enrolling at OSU’s Columbus campus because they’ve realized the value of getting a four-year degree in today’s competitive market, they say.

“I think this is the most-exciting time in history for students to truly make a difference in the lives of Ohioans and people across the world in such areas as the environment, food and energy,” said Linda Martin, the college’s associate dean.Colleges across the country have seen demand spike for degrees in agriculture. Penn State, for example, which has long been a powerhouse for ag education, has seen its agriculture enrollment grow by 40 percent since 2004.

Officials like to joke that agricultural colleges have become attractive to more students nationwide because they’re not just about “cows and plows” anymore.

At Ohio State, students can also study agribusiness, construction management, environmental science, sustainable plant systems, and even professional golf management and turf-grass science.

The college has 22 majors, including several new ones such as meat science, where students will learn about anatomy, meat processing and a growing hot topic: food safety. That’s helped Ohio State attract a more diverse pool of students.

About 50 percent of the college’s students grew up in farm families, but the other half comes from urban and suburban neighborhoods — drawn by emerging areas such as studying the health effects of foods or developing bio-fuels, said Bobby Moser, the college’s dean.

And students aren’t just enrolling in larger numbers; they’re succeeding in larger numbers, he said.
Nearly 92 percent of agriculture students return for their sophomore year, and 84.3 percent graduate within six years, higher than the university-wide rate of 79.7 percent.

About 92 percent of OSU’s ag grads also find a job or enroll in graduate school within six months, a number that hasn’t dropped since the economy soured five years ago. Roughly 75 percent of those graduates stay in Ohio.

Agriculture is Ohio’s No. 1 industry, contributing more than $107 billion to the state’s economy every year and employing roughly 1 million people, said Jack Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and an OSU trustee.

Advances in technology and research are creating opportunities, and Ohio State is helping to lead the way, Fisher said.

OSU’s agriculture college gives students the personalized attention of a small school and the opportunities of a large one, said Jill Tyson, a student recruiter.

The college has a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, and all students are assigned a faculty adviser who helps them create programs that meet their individual needs, Tyson said.

Students can do research or participate in study-abroad programs with professors, Tyson said, and undergraduates must complete an internship.

Abby Snyder, 23, of the Chillicothe area, grew up in a family with strong agricultural roots.
But as a student ambassador for Ohio State, she most enjoyed talking to high-school students from big cities about the diverse job fields that would be available to them if they went to OSU’s ag school.
“One in five people in Ohio work in agriculture, just many of them don’t know it because the field has become diverse,” she said.

Snyder will graduate today with three majors: food science and nutrition, chemistry and English.

By  Encarnacion Pyle
The Columbus Dispatch Sunday August 12, 2012 5:59 AM

Springfield News-Sun: STEM school tied to agricultural past, present

Sen. Chris Widener invoked A.B. Graham and Clark County’s history as the birthplace of 4-H at the Clark County Fair during a presentation on the proposed agricultural STEM school Monday night.

“Look what that’s done throughout the world,” Widener, R-Springfield, said. “This project is going to be the same and similar to put Springfield on the map when it comes to innovation and education.” Read More...

Breaking News: State of North Carolina Launches a Series of STEM Schools Focused on Biotechnology and Agriscience.

Visit the Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology & Agriscience's Website

Farmers Fight - Stand Up!

Check out this great video on agriculture in the 21st century....

Senator Widener Talks Global Impact STEM

Recently, Senator Widener joined Ohio Farm Bureau Vice President Jack Fisher on Town Hall Ohio's weekly radio program to discuss his concept for Global Impact STEM Academies.  

"The concept is to go into urban environments and begin to study energy, environment, bioscience, and food science," Widener said.  "It would be project-based learning that the industry is working, like how do you get that fifth bean to grow in a soybean pod?"

You can listen to the entire interview on the Town Hall Ohio radio program

Global Impact STEM Academies One-Pager

The Need for New Approaches to K-12 Education and Workforce Development

Global Impact STEM in the news.....

Springfield News-Sun: Springfield May Get Farm Science School
June 2, 2012
Ohio State University president E. Gordon Gee said Saturday the university is committed to the creation of an agriculture science STEM school program, and believes Springfield is a prime location for the school....Read More

Springfield News-Sun: Clark County to House Ag-STEM School?
April 12, 2012
Ohio State University - the state's only university with a college dedicated to agricultural sciences - has been a part of talks about a proposed agricultural science STEM school.....Read More

Springfield News-Sun: Ag-STEM School Proposal Defended
April 6, 2012
Despite some criticism, state Sen. Chris Widener says his proposed Agriculture STEM School would be good for Clark County and the state.......Read More

March 25, 2012
Talks about the Global Impact STEM Academy proposed by Sen. Chris Widener (R-Springfield) continue and the landmark building, closed in 2008, is still one proposed location.....Read More 

February 13, 2012
While Gov. John Kasich stressed in his State of the State speech last week the need to match workforce training to Ohio's available jobs, three Republican senators are already working on a plan to get students, particularly from urban and suburban areas, motivated to join the state's largest industry ..... Read More

January 30, 2012
One in seven Ohio jobs are in the agricultural bioscience field, but the number of students and teachers in agricultural education has fallen by 5 percent recently, according to state Sen. Chris Widener.....Read More

January 26, 2012
State Sen. Chris Widener (R-Springfield) said he wants to start a school called the Global Impact STEM Academy here.  It would operate similar to the science, technology, engineering, and math schools like the Dayton Regional STEM School, but dedicated to agricultural bioscience.....Read More

November/December 2011
Even Google is stumped.  Search for 'agbioscience' and it answers "did you mean...?"  My spellchecker red-lines it, and in conversation it elicits a look of acute confusion.  Agbioscience.  Add it to your vocabulary, because it can revive Ohio.....Read More

April 16, 2010
Andre Hall lives in the city and has never plowed a field or fed a hog, but he proudly wears the blue jacket long associated with the organization called Future Farmers of America.....Read More

Video: Essex Aggie

Courtesy of Essex Agricultural and Technical High School in Massachusetts 

Global Impact STEM Presentation

Global Impact STEM Presentation

Ohio Farm Bureau's Agriculture Roadmap

OFBF Roadmap

Local FFA Members Provide Input to Senator Widener

Ohio FFA News_Mid January 2012