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. Three projects were selected for the 2022 award cycle.
Projects selected to receive 2022 grants
Project BioEYES: Promoting scientific literacy and forging powerful connections between public schools and the OSU science community
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Molecular Genetics
There is a genetic revolution advancing at unprecedented speed with genome sequencing and editing technologies. As the COVID pandemic illustrates, it is more important than ever that all citizens feel comfortable and capable of discussing new technologies and understanding promise and risks. To spark interest in science, improve science literacy, and forge powerful connections between the public schools and Ohio State, the project proposes to build upon the successful implementation of the Project BioEYES curriculum by expanding the program to new elementary schools, designing and offering a new Ohio State service learning course, and developing an annual celebratory BioEYES Festival.
Superpowers of Science! Leveraging educational TV to engage young children in engineering activities
College of Arts and Sciences
School of Communication
It is crucial to deliver STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) interventions in early childhood, because achievement gaps in STEM emerge before children enter kindergarten. Recognizing this need, the Center for Science Industry (COSI), a Columbus science museum, has started distributing educational kits that engage families in STEM at home. The current project will develop and evaluate content for a new COSI kit that integrates lessons about engineering from the popular TV program "Hero Elementary." This project is possible through a pioneering partnership with PBS (Public Broadcasting Service).
Building trust through an alliance of outcasts: Autonomous flights in prescribed burns
College of Engineering
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The project will build partnerships for public engagement and education in two disparate fields: prescribed forest burns, and autonomous vehicles that by themselves have struggled to garner public trust. Prescribed burns are the controlled application of fire to accomplish specific land management objectives. They offer ideal testing grounds for autonomous flight vehicles to prove the decision-making ability in an unstructured and hazardous environment. This collaborative effort brings together two Ohio State academic colleges, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Metro Schools System and local National Public Radio (NPR) Station, WOSU, to bring into focus the troubling prognosis of wildfires in the eastern United States.