LIMA — From a new student life center being built to offering various educational opportunities for high school students, the interim dean at Ohio State University-Lima said he is excited about 2018.
Since early last year, contractors have been busy constructing the Perry Webb Student Life Center, a 15,000 square foot recreational facility where students will be able to go to study, socialize, work out and relax between classes.
“It’s the kind of space that we haven’t had on the campus before,” said Joseph Brandesky, interim dean at Ohio State-Lima. “Step by step, we are trying to provide the kinds of activities and the experiences you would experience if you were a student in Columbus, but on a much smaller scale.”
The fitness area will include exercise equipment that is used at Ohio State University in Columbus and will be open to Ohio State-Lima, Rhode State College students and members of the community for a minimum fee, Brandesky said.
The facility will be fully operational by March, and the grand opening will follow in August before the 2018 fall semester.
Besides the Perry Webb Student Life Center, Brandesky also looks forward to the STEM steps.
Through a partnership with manufacturing company INEOS, the campus will host a two-day STEM Steps program for high school high sophomore and junior girls.
During those two days, the girls learn about and participate in activities involving science, technology, engineering and math and the role of women in STEM fields and how they can impact the world with STEM.
Faculty hope to empower the students to achieve success in STEM fields by instilling self-confidence and can do attitude.
In addition to STEM Steps, in the fall the university will also be hosting STEAM on the Quad, a free, family-friendly event where kindergarten through eighth-grade students participate in activities involving science, technology, engineering, arts and math fields.
Another exciting program for 2018 is Girls Who Code, a 10-week workshop where 14 sixth- through eighth-grade students from various school districts learn about project-based computer science.
“If we teach them how to code using this language now, that will be their foundation for the fifth iteration of the program when they finally get to where they are going,” Brandesky said.
Through the three offered programs, Brandesky hopes to inspire students and cause them to follow their dreams.
“I think the basic message is, ‘Yes, you can start in Lima, and it’s not a limiting factor,’” he said. “If you have goals and you apply yourself and if you find good teachers to sponsor you along the way, anything is possible.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews