Office of Academic Enrichment Honors and Scholars Center

STEM Exploration and Engagement Scholars

The mission of the STEM Exploration and Engagement Scholars Program is to provide participants with a purposeful connection to increase their engagement within the university and their STEM major or interest.

The combination of exploration of career paths along with engagement in leadership, academic success, and community outreach activities intend to improve participant's Ohio State experience and their persistence in their majors until graduation.​


Discover the steps to apply for this program.

Application Info


​For more information regarding the STEM Exploration and Engagement Scholars Program, contact program manager, Zac Patterson at


First Year: Scholars Seminar

All first-year scholars will enroll in the STEM Exploration and Engagement Scholars seminar course. This seminar course is designed for first year Scholars students to explore personal interests, interdisciplinary opportunities, campus and local community resources, and specific theme activities related to STEM Exploration and Engagement Scholars.

Objectives: Through the sessions and assignments in this course, students will…

  • Describe the requirements and expectations of being a STEM Exploration and Engagement Scholar
  • Describe the G.O.A.L.S. of the University Honors & Scholars Center
  • Develop a close relationship with the Scholars Program staff and other Scholars students
  • Navigate campus resources and opportunities related to their interests
  • Connect to the greater Columbus community especially in areas related to the program theme
  • Gain awareness of career development and career options

Through the seminar, students will explore aspects of the STEM fields through the lens of the G.O.A.L.S. of the University Honors & Scholars Center as indicated below:​

  • Focus on careers, specifically on the diverse STEM careers and how this diversity is essential in addressing scientific questions.
  • Provide peer reviews, evaluate summative data, and propose new forward thinking designs.
  • Participate in long-term learning experiences that will help apply learning in the classroom to real world problems.
  • Train and serve as mentors and tutors to help enhance leadership ​skills.
  • Participate in service activities to support STEM understanding in the community and mentor incoming STEM students. 
Second Year: Scholars Projects

The second year curriculum builds upon the foundation of the first. All second year Scholars will spend their second year immersed in an intensive project, individually developed, which relates one or two of the most important G.O.A.L.S. to their STEM major or area of interest. The purpose of this project is to allow Scholars to begin to work toward their future personal and/or career goals with intentionality and structure.

In keeping with our group motto, "Planting the seeds of innovation," this project allows them to be creative, innovative, and purposeful as they develop unique ways to solve problems they are passionate about in the local community, country and world.​

Second year Scholars also build a stronger sense of community with their peers through biweekly meetings, complete a professional informational interview project, and serve as mentors to the 1st year STEM EE Scholars.


Events and Activities

The STEM EE Scholars participate in a variety of activities that relate to the STEM theme

Examples of events:
  • Faculty dinners with various STEM faculty, which allows the students the chance to meet and chat with professors from chemistry, math, physics, engineering, computer science, etc. Scholars are able to have small group and one-on-one personal and informal conversations with faculty outside of the classroom setting, allowing them to discuss topics ranging from research interests to how to be a successful STEM student.
  • Trips to campus and community STEM locations, including COSI (Columbus science museum, where we also serve as floor volunteers), the Byrd Polar Research Center, the Columbus Zoo, Battelle, Biological Greenhouse, and more.
  • Lab shadowing opportunities for students interested in becoming involved in research
  • STEM Case Studies series where students explore and discuss various STEM-related topics in relevant case studies
  • Medical panel consisting of doctors, nurses and pharmacists from OSU
  • Speakers and alumni related to the STEM fields
  • Video series discussing the intersection of various STEM fields
  • Resume building workshops
  • Science and math group study sessions
  • STEM Jeopardy and trivia contests
  • Planetarium showing
  • Book club
  • Mentoring/tutoring younger students in STEM topics in the local community
  • Designing and developing experiments and activities to get more youth excited about STEM
  • And much more!



Each Scholars Program features a first-year residential community that provides students with a peer-network of high-ability students with similar interests. First-year STEM Exploration and Engagement Scholars students are given priority to live together in Houston House.** Commuters are welcome to be a part of our Scholars programs.

**Please note that space in the prescribed residence halls is not guaranteed and students can be placed in other accommodations due to program demand if necessary.​

Community building activities and initiatives:

First year STEM EE Scholars participate in a variety of community building and social activities, including:

  • ​Mentor group events with their upperclass mentors, including:
    • Ice cream socials
    • Columbus Crew soccer games
    • Exploring the Short North (downtown Columbus)
    • Rock climbing at the ARC
    • Laser tag
    • Group dinners
    • And more!
  • ​Intramural sports teams, including softball, flag football, basketball, volleyball, and more
  • Football tailgating with other Scholars groups
  • Attending sporting events
  • Game nights
  • Movie nights
  • Ice skating
  • Day and weekend trips, including white water rafting, Cedar Point, Kings Island, and more
Leadership Council

The Leadership Council is comprised of current students. STEM Exploration and Engagement Scholars will apply in the fall semester which allows students the opportunity to begin serving the STEM EE community in a leadership position as early as their second semester at Ohio State. Students may serve on the executive board or on academic or social committees, creating relevant programming for the STEM EE Scholars community while gaining the skills to become an effective leader in the STEM fields.​

Social Activities

Several social activities occur throughout the year, examples may include:

  • A welcome tailgate during the first Scholars meeting of the year
  • Attending sporting events
  • Bowling
  • Game nights
  • Movie nights
  • Cooking group meals at Kuhn Honors & Scholars House
  • Attending prominent faculty lectures
  • Apple picking at a local fruit farm
  • Craft projects
  • Ice skating​