Program Overview

Our Background

Founded in 2010 by Professor Nandini Trivedi, Dr. Marci Howdyshell, and Michelle McCombs, Scientific Thinkers was an initial partnership with one teacher that over the following years gained both the support of additional teachers, multiple schools and  the Center for Emergent Materials. Today, Scientific Thinkers is a partnership between the Center for Emergent Materials (CEM) at OSU and three Columbus Elementary Schools. Through the Scientific Thinkers program, undergraduate and graduate students from OSU STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) departments work with the first through fifth-grade science and mathematics teachers at the elementary schools to develop and teach hands-on science lessons to first through fifth-grade students. Everyone involved benefits from participating in this program.

Through the engagement with undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, our aim is to give the elementary school students an opportunity to learn what it is to be like a scientist and think like a scientist, giving them confidence in their own abilities and thinking skills which they will use in and out of school.

The Goal of the Program

This program encourages first through fifth-grade students to always be curious and ask questions about the world around them. They gain confidence in themselves and their scientific abilities through interactions with scientists and exciting hands-on science experiments.

The teachers are given resources, in the form of ideas and supplies, that help them continue to integrate hands-on science into the classroom.

The undergraduate and graduate student volunteers gain unique practice at communicating scientific information to those outside the field. They also have an opportunity to reach out to the Columbus community and motivate the next generation of scientific thinkers!



Funding and support for Scientific Thinkers is provided in part by the Center for Emergent Materials at The Ohio State University.


Join Now!

Scientific Thinkers New Membership Application

Scientific Thinkers New Membership Application

Upon submitting your application, you will begin to receive email updates regarding volunteer visits, trainings, and orientations. You will be required to attend a mandatory orientation prior to volunteering. To remain an active member you must attend two volunteer visits per semester.

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