A&P Puts Students FIRST

A&P helped send a group of METRO Early College High School students and their Ohio State student mentors to Washington, D.C. for the 2017 FIRST National Advocacy Conference.

The conference allowed the students to meet with Senators and Representatives to advocate for the value of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) education programs.

“A&P keeps the university’s academic mission at the forefront of our work,” said Jay Kasey, senior vice president in the Office of Administration and Planning. “This was a wonderful opportunity for us to support local students making an impact on the national stage.”

A&P donated $3,000 to support the trip. Ohio State students Maria Krantz. Jon Coyle and Armando Henriquez served as mentors to the eight METRO High School students.

FIRST is an international non-profit organization that works to inspire K-12 students’ interest in science and technology through a variety of robotics-based challenges. FIRST holds annual competitions designed to motivate young students to pursue education and careers in STEM.

Krantz and Coyle have participated in FIRST competitions since high school and are now members of the FIRST Robotics organization at Ohio State.

“Giving back and trying to give other students that same opportunity to find their passion for STEM or for robotics and give back to that community is what is most important,” said Coyle, a third-year student in Ohio State’s College of Engineering.

When meeting with the Senators and Congressmen, the conference attendees worked to acquire support for FIRST and STEM by sharing their own experiences with both programs and the impact it has had on their personal development.

“STEM is the future,” said Krantz, a METRO high school graduate and a second-year Ohio State student in the College of Public Health. “Taking a group to D.C. and allowing the students to advocate for themselves and advocate for how important their FIRST experiences were, was something Jon and I were really excited to do.”