The Ohio State University at Newark

​SciDome Honored with Ohio State’s High Impact Program Award

April 5, 2022

Under the guidance of The Ohio State University at Newark Associate Professor Mike Stamatikos, PhD, Newark’s SciDome — located at The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology — has received a High Impact Program Award for its efforts in spreading STEM awareness in its community.

The $1,000 award, presented annually as part of Ohio State’s Outreach and Engagement Awards, recognizes “outstanding achievement by faculty, staff and/or student-led programs/initiatives focused on community-university partnerships and impact.”

“I’m honored by the designation of the SciDome as a high impact program across the university and the positive reception of our associated STEM initiatives within the local community and beyond.”

Stamatikos, who also serves as chief science officer at The Works, has addressed the challenges of generating interest and engagement in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — engagement that could translate into STEM careers. Confronting challenges such as a lack of student readiness, professional development of educators, and scientific illiteracy, Stamatikos, in a 2019 TEDx talk, pointed out how places like the SciDome can be a solution to this epidemic.

“We use astronomy to engender lasting teachable moments and inspire lifelong learning, but we don’t just stop there — we can do everything from astronomy to zoology in the SciDome,” Stamatikos said.

The SciDome, which is a shared facility jointly operated in downtown Newark by Ohio State Newark and The Works, is an answer to several specific challenges: increasing scientific literacy in local under-served rural communities and underrepresented Appalachian populations; providing access to informal science education for all ages; encouraging STEM success for students and educators; and contributing to citizen science by utilizing local landmarks such as the Newark Earthworks and the John Glenn Astronomy Park for potential scientific discoveries.

“Critical reasoning is a ubiquitous problem-solving skill and a crucial characteristic of an educated electorate, which is essential to a thriving democracy. The SciDome exemplifies the Ohio State Newark vision of deepening community partnerships and the university’s strategic priority of promoting interdisciplinary collaboration,” the provost’s office noted in the text of the award.

Ohio State Newark Dean and Director William L. MacDonald, PhD, congratulated Stamatikos and the SciDome on the award. “Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Stamatikos through programming at the SciDome, learners of all ages will have opportunities to meaningfully engage in STEM. This is a benefit to our community’s present and future, and we are grateful to Dr. Stamatikos and The Works for their efforts,” MacDonald said.