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Battelle Endowment funds four science and technology projects

The Battelle Engineering, Technology and Human Affairs (BETHA) Endowment annual grant competition supports projects that examine the complex relationship between science and technology on society and cultural issues. This year, 34 proposals were submitted for the competition, of which four projects were selected for funding. 

MindUp!: An e-Mental Health App to Support Homeless Youth’s Mental Health
Scottye Cash, PhD
Associate Professor
College of Social Work

Approximately 75% of homeless youth experience some type of mental health disorders, however less than 9% have ever received mental health services. Untreated mental health disorders can lead to a negative life trajectory, including suicidal behaviors. This project will partner with Star House, a central Ohio drop-in center for homeless youth, to design and test a web-based app to provide an evidence-informed, one-stop resource for local mental health resources for depression and anxiety. MindUp! will serve as an innovative tool to reduce these youth’s barriers to seeking mental health support, to improve their well-being and reduce suicidal behaviors.

Inspiring Future Engineers through Girl Scout Leader Training
Rachel Kajfez, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Engineering Education

Despite years of effort, women have remained significantly underrepresented in engineering. This project will investigate how Girl Scout engineering badges and journeys impact girls’ views of themselves as future engineers and, using this information, develop evidence-based training for Girl Scout leaders to support girls in their engineering development. Via the Girl Scouts, a large, diverse group of young women across the country will be exposed to engineering at a young age, and by training supportive leaders, this project will aid in closing the gender gap in engineering.

Adaptive Ambience Technology in the Preschool Classroom for Children Exposed to Trauma
Kevin Passino, PhD
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are increasingly common, especially for children of color and those in lower-income homes. Children who have experienced ACEs enter the classroom on constant alert for threats which can interfere with their ability to learn and feel safe. This project aims to reduce trauma-induced stress in vulnerable children by developing adaptive ambience technology for the preschool classroom, as well as documenting stress levels in a diverse classroom of children ages 3 to 5 years and measuring the impact of adaptive ambiance on stress reduction for children.

A Machine for Reading: RLV2.0
Robyn Warhol, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of English

Systems developers/engineers, librarians and English literature scholars are collaborating to build and populate the website Reading Like a Victorian 2.0. The site will enable users to read serial novel installments alongside parts of other novels that were published in the same month and year during the 19th century. The WordPress prototype currently online at will be replaced with new code, including a relational database for searching key elements of texts from Project Gutenberg and Hathi Trust – huge databases that have never before been indexed.