Office of Student Life

Social Change


The G.E.M. program - Grow, Explore, Mentor - is designed to address gaps in science and literacy through hands-on learning among elementary and middle school students in Central Ohio, with an emphasis on engagement with minority students.

Each of our seven locations is unique in terms of needs and areas of focus, but all have common themes in building positive self-esteem, self-efficacy, social skills and coping skills in addition to educational components. Education, information access and self-efficacy are major tools that can be utilized by individuals, families and communities to get out of poverty.

Of the people served through our various neighborhood programs, 70% are people of color. Additionally, the schools we collaborate with are combating violence, truancy, failing grades and failing test scores for literacy and math.

In order to successfully circumvent the problem of low STEM engagement among our students, we place this struggle in the broader context of issues faced by the local communities.

Many students in the G.E.M. program lack a positive role model at home. This is especially true of male students who have lost parents or siblings to violence, drug abuse and/or incarceration. Research shows that such losses can lead to negative outcomes like truancy and/or a lack of interest in alternative after-school activities.

Conversely, we have chosen STEM education not only because of the lack of resources and failing test scores, but because of what the research articulates about minorities and career maturity. Research shows that minority students are underrepresented in the STEM fields nationally (NSF, 2015). It is also important to note that these fields are pathways to many of the highest-paying, fastest-growing career options (Carnevale, 2015). Therefore, as we examine ways to build communities, support individuals and reduce poverty, accessing adequate resources for self-efficacy in STEM opens the doors to other career options for social and economic mobility.


Location Address Distance driving from OSU Distance walking from OSU Distance taking the bus from OSU
Beatty Park Elementary School 519 Trevitt St Columbus, OH 43203 3.9 miles (14 minutes) 3.58 miles (73 minutes) 4.11 miles (25 minutes)
Champion Middle School 284 N 22nd St Columbus, OH 43203 4.47 miles (15 minutes) 3.86 miles (79 minutes) 4.46 miles (28 minutes)
Eastgate Elementary School 1925 Stratford Way Columbus, OH 43219 5.68 miles (15 minutes) 4.66 miles (94 minutes) 6.23 miles (46 minutes)
Hamilton Elementary School 745 Rathmell Rd Columbus, OH 43207 13.61 miles (22 minutes) 10.8 miles (218 minutes) n/a
KIPP Middle School 2900 Inspire Drive Columbus, OH 43224 5.77 miles (21 minutes) 5.4 miles (108 minutes) 8.1 miles (50 minutes)
Trevitt Elementary School 519 Trevitt St Columbus, OH 43203 3.9 miles (14 minutes) 3.58 miles (73 minutes) 4.11 miles (25 minutes)