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National Science Board visits OSU for the first time

The National Science Board visited Ohio State last week, the first time the prestigious group chose a Big Ten university for its annual meeting.

OSU President E. Gordon Gee invited the board to visit and tour sites around Columbus, including the Metro Early College High School, COSI and the Center for Automotive Research.

The board consists of 25 members who are appointed by the U.S. president and confirmed by the Senate. The board advises the president and Congress about national policy issues related to science and engineering research and education, according to its Web site (www.nsf.gov/nsb). The board also advises research activities conducted by the National Science Foundation.

The board holds four annual meetings at the foundation’s headquarters in Virginia. It chooses a host site for its fifth meeting. 

OSU provided a “fresh perspective,” said Lisa-Joy Zgorski, a spokesperson for the foundation. 

“We are thrilled to be here,” Zgorski said. “The resources are tremendous. We are already learning a lot.”

A few board members appeared on OSU’s television station, WOSU, to discuss science and engineering policies Wednesday morning. The board also met for a retreat at Page Hall that day, which concluded in the evening with a reception at the renovated William Oxley Thompson Library.

The board’s visit coincided with the start of Fall Quarter. 

“The energy and enthusiasm is real,” Zgorski said. “Everyone is geared up to be on campus on the first day of classes. It’s all about training the next generation of students.”

Thursday morning, the board members held an open meeting at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4H Center before concluding their visit with tours of COSI, Metro High School and CAR. 

Marcy Raymond, principal of Metro High School, led about 30 board members on a tour of the school. 

During the visit, Assistant Principal Aimee Kennedy and Metro High students explained the special education initiatives and research opportunities offered at the school, which is affiliated with the 47 high schools in Franklin County. Throughout the tour, the board members were “smiling and happy” while they visited classrooms and talked to teachers, Raymond said. 

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