Ohio State University hosts Residential Summer Student Learning Community

Ohio's STEM Ability Alliance (OSAA)

OSU students experiments with liquid nitrogen

Ohio's STEM Ability Alliance (OSAA) Columbus Quad hosted a residential learning community for sixteen Beginner OSAA students and ten Advanced OSAA students that took place during the summer of 2010. The students attended presentations given by Advanced OSAA students who are currently attending the Ohio State Center for Emergent Materials (CEM) at Ohio State University (OSU), as well as the Material Science and Engineering department also located on the OSU campus.

Students were able to witness first-hand some of the innovative research and theory being put into practice by OSU staff and graduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students. The cohort was recruited from high schools across Ohio, including Metro High School, Ohio State School for the Blind, Reynoldsburg High School, Westerville, Grandview Heights, Upper Arlington, Lynchburg-Clay, Bexley, Brookhaven, St. Edwards, and Cleveland Heights High School. There was also a student who is currently attending Columbus State Community College.

During the Beginner SLC, all of the OSAA students were introduced to the program through a modified probability math course taught by a member of Columbus State Community College and an Advanced OSAA student intern. The students were asked to predict the distribution of outcomes of the Monty Hall ("Let's Make a Deal") problem, a whimsical scenario involving guessing what door of three led to a car prize as opposed to a goat. This problem involved a twist that made the solution very counterintuitive.

Through a series of simple experiments and guided investigations, the students acquired sufficient knowledge of the basic notions and techniques of probability theory to find the correct solution to the problem posed at the beginning of the session.

After the cooperative learning experience wound down, the students were led in games of chance, where their newfound probability skills were applied. The session served as an introduction to the Math Explorers program, which ran concurrently with the Student Learning Community conducted on the campus of Columbus State Community College fall 2010.

Logos of project partners: AccessSTEM, DO-IT, and National Science Foundation