Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math students across the state of Ohio are working on ways to solve the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic.
The Ohio Department of Education recently released information about how the opioid crisis has crept into learning environments in schools across the state.
In the press release, the Department points to Superintendent of Public Instruction, Paolo DeMaria as well as the Ohio STEM Learning Network as examples of entities challenging students to come up with ways to bring the crisis to an end.
According to reports, more than 1,200 students have accepted that challenge and have produced hundreds of possible solutions as to how to fight opioid abuse.
The following quotes were offered per the Ohio Department of Education’s press release:
“This challenge was an opportunity for students to be creative and join the conversation about one of the biggest problems facing our state — opioid abuse,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “Ohio’s young people never cease to amaze me with their ability to take on tough challenges and develop impressive solutions. I am inspired by the innovative ideas I have seen from our awesome students for addressing the opioid crisis and their desire to create a drug-free future for their fellow students and families.”
The department notes that on May 18th, Battelle hosted the Opioid Student Solutions Showcase, which featured some of the top ideas created by students.
Schools from across the state offered their solutions:
- Akron North High School
- Bio-Med Science Academy
- Dayton Regional STEM School
- Metro Early College High School
- Metro Institute of Technology
- Reynoldsburg High School- eSTEM Academy
- Reynoldsburg High School- (HS)2 Academy
- Ridgeview STEM Jr. High
Students offered a variety of possible approaches including an app to alert friends and families of those fighting abuse when certain areas are visited, programmable pill dispensers to limit opioid doses and even an anti-drug use social media campaign.
Secretary of State Jon Husted, Attorney General Mike Dewine and State Superintendent DeMaria all spoke to students during the event as well.
The following are comments made by those individuals per the Ohio Department of Education’s press release:
“Whether it is confronting the opioid epidemic, driverless cars or drone technology, strong skills in STEM are essential to prepare students for the challenges of today and tomorrow,” Secretary Husted said. “The Ohio STEM Learning Network is an invaluable opportunity for STEM students to demonstrate what they have learned in the classroom, an experience that will help them and Ohio win a brighter future.”
“I applaud these students for their interest and willingness to take the time to address the drug problem that is devastating our state,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine. “Our state depends on informed, dedicated citizens taking an active role in addressing this crisis, and I’m grateful for these ideas to help those struggling with substance abuse and addiction.”
Again, this was all put on by the Ohio STEM Learning Network, which is a public-private partnership managed by Battelle. Battelle’s Senior Vice-President of Education and Philanthropy Dr. Aimee Kennedy added, “Solving problems is what we do here at Battelle and I am deeply proud to see that same creativity and energy in the solutions students showed us today.”