The Ohio State University at Lima

STEM Steps focuses on young women succeeding in science fields

More than 100 high school sophomores and junior girls converged onto the Ohio State Lima campus on March 13, for STEM STEPS, an enriching and exciting day filled with hands-on activities in various STEM fields to encourage and stimulate an interest in science.

“The goal of the day is to empower young women to achieve success in STEM fields by instilling self-confidence and a can-do attitude,” said Dr. Swathi Mohan, a lecturer in Chemistry and coordinator for the day. “Students will also learn the role of women in STEM fields and see how they can impact the world with STEM education.”

Ohio State Lima faculty members guided hands-on activities with the students in all the STEM areas on campus, including Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics. Engineers from INEOS Lima and Ashland Lima spoke about their experiences as women in the engineering field during a lunchtime panel and Dr. Megan Rutledge, 2007 graduate of Wapakoneta High School, served as the keynote speaker for the event. Dr. Rutledge attended The Ohio State University, graduating cum laude with honors in 2011 with her bachelor’s degree in biology and cum laude in 2015 with her doctorate in optometry. Dr. Rutledge completed all of her undergraduate work at Ohio State Lima. She recently completed a year-long residency in Ocular Disease at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Dayton. She is a member of the American Optometric Association, Ohio Optometric Association, Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Society, and is currently pursuing her fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry. She provides primary eye care to the patients of Mercer In-Sight.

The 16 area schools participating in STEM STEPS individually chose the young women who attended the event. The schools included Ada, Bath, Columbus Grove, Fairlawn, Fort Jennings, Indian Lake, Jackson Center, Lima Central Catholic, Lima Senior, Lima Temple Christian, Miller City, Ottoville, Pandora-Gilboa, Perry, St. Marys, Shawnee and Upper Scioto Valley.

STEM STEPS is free for the students to attend and is made possible through the generous support of INEOS.