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students discussing their projects

Students Show Ideas for Fighting Opioid Crisis

Posted by Battelle Insider on May 24, 2017

At the start of the 2016-17 school year, the Ohio STEM Learning Network joined with the Ohio Department Education to ask students to put their knowledge and creativity to work on Ohio’s opioid abuse crisis. On May 18, more than 100 students from across Ohio came to Columbus to show off their ideas.

Solutions included a programmable pill dispenser to limit opioid doses and an app to alert friends and families of those fighting abuse when certain areas are visited. One middle school team designed an anti-drug use social media campaign and spent the semester publishing their messages.

Each participating school used a design-challenge model. In this method, school leaders help students create new ideas while tying the work to the knowledge and skills students need to learn.

The students were joined during the showcase by several state leaders. Ohio State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria spoke, as did Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

students displaying their work during the opiod showcase

Battelle, the science and technology organization that manages the Ohio STEM Learning Network, hosted the event. From Battelle, President and CEO Jeff Wadsworth spoke along with Aimee Kennedy and Scott Novak, a national expert on opioid addiction.

What did the students themselves think? We caught up with two student solvers to find out.

“There were guard rails (on what we could do for this project),” said Brandon Sheline from Reynoldsburg (HS)2 Academy, “but they were a lot further out than what a normal one would be. (Our teachers said) ‘This is what you have to research, but make something positive out of it.’ That’s where we got really connected to it.”

“I think it’s kind of awesome that everybody in our community across Ohio is coming together to try and solve it,” said Lacy Johnson, also from (HS)2 Academy. “And it’s kind of neat to see how many different ways that we all think to approach it. Some are similar, and some are completely different… It’s a lot of great minds thinking together.”

A lot of great minds thinking together. We couldn’t have said it better.

Congratulations to all these students and the other 1,100 students who participated in schools across the state.

Participating schools:

  • Akron North High School
  • Bio-Med Science Academy
  • Dayton Regional STEM School
  • Global Impact STEM Academy
  • Metro Early College High School
  • Metro Institute of Technology
  • Northwestern High School
  • Reynoldsburg High School- eSTEM Academy
  • Reynoldsburg High School- (HS)2 Academy
  • Ridgeview STEM Jr. High

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