LIFT and Battelle Celebrate Top MakerMinded Schools in Ohio and Tennessee
Digital learning platform recognizes student achievements in advanced manufacturing and STEM
COLUMBUS, OHIO (July 30, 2019) — LIFT – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, a Detroit-based national manufacturing innovation institute and member of Manufacturing USA, and Battelle, the world’s largest independent nonprofit research and development organization, announced the winning schools of the 2018-2019 MakerMinded competition. This competition expands students’ and schools’ access to world-class advanced manufacturing and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning experiences through an online platform.
Led by LIFT, MakerMinded launched in 2016 in Tennessee and 2017 in Ohio to inspire more middle and high school students to pursue advanced manufacturing careers and equip them with 21st-century, in-demand skills. Across both states, there are more than 17,000 manufacturers that employ nearly 1,000,000 people.
Two schools from each state were recognized for their top performance in MakerMinded: SCOPES Academy @ Unioto Elementary School and Northridge Middle School in Johnstown, Ohio and STEM Academy at Kenwood High School and Northwest Middle School in Knoxville, Tennessee. Each school received $2,000 to spend on educational technologies from Eduporium.
These schools are just a few of many middle and high schools across Ohio and Tennessee whose students are participating in cutting-edge education programs and activities through MakerMinded. These students are working towards becoming members of the future workforce needed to maintain and grow the manufacturing economy.
“These MakerMinded students in Ohio and Tennessee are becoming the next generation of innovators and makers,” said Emily DeRocco, vice-president, education and workforce development, LIFT. “They prove we have the talent and the passion in our students to be a globally competitive manufacturing force; we just need to provide more opportunities for young people to access the right learning opportunities and hone their skills.”
Students and teachers across in these two states are part of a national MakerMinded network that includes schools in Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and West Virginia. LIFT works with local partners to onboard schools and recruit student participants. To date, more than 6,000 students and teachers from more than 500 middle and high schools are participating in MakerMinded.
“The MakerMinded program provides a framework for students to explore manufacturing and STEM career paths for themselves,” said Aimee Kennedy, senior vice president for Education and Philanthropy at Battelle. “In each state, educators are finding new ways to incorporate STEM and manufacturing opportunities into their classrooms thanks to this program.”
Jenni Domo, director at SCOPES Academy @ Unioto Elementary School, praised MakerMinded for empowering her and her students:
“Our field trips to advanced manufacturing plants were amazing as students were able to see and interact with real STEMists in the field,” Domo said. “As a teacher, I gained a lot professionally from these trips and experienced real manufacturing workplaces I would not have previously thought to visit. My students learned so much this year as a result of the determination they gave to the MakerMinded program. The ‘voice and choice’ that I gave them in selecting their own activities empowered them as active learners in charge of their own educational future.”
Tracy Anderson, STEM teacher at Northwest Middle School, Knoxville Tennessee, commented on the benefits of MakerMinded’s student reflections:
“When my students who are on competition teams return from their events, I am always looking for ways for them to reflect on the experience in a better way than a discussion of how ‘we won’ or ‘we lost,’” Anderson said. “I love that MakerMinded gives me that opportunity to have them communicate their thoughts on the experience, plus it gives them some validation that this was more than fun—it was a learning experience.”
Designed by LIFT and Tennessee Tech University’s iCUBE, MakerMinded directly links students to a diverse range of national and local advanced manufacturing programs, including manufacturing facility tours, gaming activities, and project-based learning. MakerMinded also includes a competition component, as students and schools receive points for each completed activity. Points are tallied on a real-time online leaderboard and the top schools are celebrated at year-end recognition events.
Students, schools, employers and others interested in joining the Ohio or Tennessee MakerMinded campaigns should visit http://www.makerminded.com.
About LIFT – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow
LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers.
Battelle also manages a range of successful projects bringing quality STEM education to students including the Ohio STEM Learning Network, Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, and the national STEMx network.
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.