This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).
The Ohio State University, in partnership with Columbus State Community College, STEMColumbus, and the Ohio STEM Learning Network, will develop a Geoscience Awareness Program (GAP) targeted at underrepresented minority students at five academic levels - middle school, high school, community college, and university freshmen with undeclared majors, and university seniors. These last two academic levels will include only students enrolled at The Ohio State University. The program will include development of a package of lectures, presentations, brochures, and educational material about geosciences. These materials will be used to develop underrepresented minority students' interest in majoring in geosciences. The educational materials developed will also be used for targeted recruitment of underrepresented minority undergraduate students with science backgrounds to Ohio State's graduate program in geological sciences. The GAP program will include materials to communicate to students the job opportunities that a career in geosciences could offer. Ultimately, GAP's model can be replicated at other institutions and communities to promote geological sciences as an educational option in the STEM fields to many pre-college students, undergraduates at community colleges, undecided college students, and college senior students, whatever the students' ethnicity or background. The eventual outcome of this project will be to increase the number of minority students majoring in the geological sciences and thereby increase the numbers of trained professionals in this nationally important area of STEM education.