March 30, 2015

Believe in Ohio Prepares High School Students for the Future

Believe in Ohio is a free new program from the Ohio Academy of Science that helps high school students prepare for the future. The program was developed in collaboration with Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio with the support of the Ohio Board of Regents and the Ohio General Assembly.

Believe in Ohio is the only statewide Ohio student STEM education program to integrate entrepreneurship and innovation as pathways to create future jobs. The program helps prepare students to become “competitors” in Ohio's innovation economy of the future and to be part of Ohio's next generation of innovators who will create the new product services and jobs of the future through the application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Ohio was once one of the most innovative, entrepreneurial and prosperous states in the Nation, however, over the last 40 years it lost its way along with hundreds of thousands of good jobs. Unlike other states, Ohio confronted the problem and created the Ohio Third Frontier, which has been the catalyst for the creation of Ohio's Innovation Economy of the Future.

Regrettably, however, few Ohio students know that Ohio’s Innovation Economy includes dozens of venture development organizations and incubators, and many of the nation’s leading research universities and other research and development programs. Thus, one of the principal goals of the Believe in Ohio program is to tell students that “It’s Time to Believe in Ohio Again” and that Ohio is a good place for them to create their future.

Believe in Ohio helps students understand the challenge and opportunity the future presents and how to prepare for it through STEM forums, virtual field trips and online courses into Ohio's Innovation Economy of the future. It also helps students develop the critical thinking skills they will need later in life.

Believe in Ohio helps students understand the importance of a STEM education and entrepreneurial mindset if they are to become competitors in Ohio's Innovation Economy of the future. It does this through engagement with STEM and entrepreneurial experts and mentors, and participation in STEM Commercialization Plan and STEM Business Plan competitions in which students compete for nearly one million dollars in cash awards and scholarships. The program inspires students to pursue their education and careers in Ohio by introducing them to Ohio's R&D and entrepreneurial ecosystem that offers great opportunities for them to create their future.

To find out more about the Believe in Ohio program, visit our website at or call The Ohio Academy of Science at 614-914-5095.

March 27, 2015

Believe in Ohio Program to Establish Urban STEM Network

As part of its “All Hands on Deck” Inclusive Competitiveness strategy to reach all Ohio high school students, the Believe in Ohio (BiO) program of The Ohio Academy of Science today launched a statewide campaign to create the Urban STEM Mentor Network. Inclusive Competitiveness is an interdisciplinary framework of policies, strategies, practices and metrics to improve the performance of underrepresented Americans in the Innovation Economy.

The Urban STEM Mentor Network will support Ohio’s next generation of innovators to create new products, services and jobs through the application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). BiO is the only statewide Ohio student education program to integrate entrepreneurship and innovation as pathways to job-creation.

Based on the principle of “Each One Teach One,” over the next six months, beginning in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati, the BiO Urban STEM Mentor Network campaign will recruit mentors from African American, Hispanic and other STEM business professionals and entrepreneurs, educators and college and university students. The goal is to increase dramatically the number of mentors in Ohio’s urban areas for the 2015-2016 school year.
Dr. Julian Earls
If our state and country are going to continue to be prosperous, then all parts of our society need opportunities to become innovators and competitors in today’s Innovation Economy, including youth in Ohio’s urban areas,” said Dr. Julian M. Earls, Retired Director of NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and lifelong mentor and advocate for minority STEM education.

For that to happen, however, we need accomplished African Americans, Hispanics and others in STEM from all over Ohio to serve as inspirational role models and mentors for our urban youth,” continued Dr. Earls, who is also President of Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio, the collaborative partner with The Ohio Academy of Science of Ohio in the development of the Believe in Ohio program. “Students can be successful when they see people ‘who look like them’ who have made successes of themselves and are willing to help them.”

For the sake of our children, their children, and our state, it is critical that this initiative be successful. To that end, we have assembled an extraordinary leadership team of community leaders to galvanize support across the state,” added Dr. Earls.

Mr. Johnathan Holifield ( is overall statewide director and coordinator for Believe in Ohio’s Urban STEM Mentor Network and served as subject matter expert for the Ohio Board of Regents Subcommittee on Inclusive Competitiveness. Mr. Holifield helped develop the BiO program and is a nationally recognized leader of Inclusive Competitiveness. He was founding Executive Director of CincyTech in Cincinnati, former Vice President for Inclusive Competitiveness at NorTech in Cleveland, and a founding partner of Scale Up Partners, a national Inclusive Competitiveness consultancy.

Ms. Mary McWilliams ( is the Columbus Metro Inclusive Competitiveness Coordinator for Believe in Ohio’s Urban STEM Mentor Network. Ms. McWilliams is Electronics Engineer Team Leader for the Defense Logistics Agency of the Department of Defense, and Chair-Elect of the Professional Executive Board of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Mr. Wayne Hicks ( is the Cincinnati Metro Inclusive Competitiveness Coordinator for Believe in Ohio’s Urban STEM Mentor Network. Mr. Hicks is Executive Director of the Black Data Processing Associate Education & Technology Foundation, and the owner of Hicks Enterprises consulting firm in Cincinnati.

Dr. Bilal Bomani ( is Cleveland Metro Inclusive Competiveness Coordinator for Believe in Ohio’s Urban STEM Mentor Network. Dr. Bomani is a Senior Research Scientist whose work has been featured in a TED talk.  He is Vice President of the National Technical Association – Cleveland Chapter that focuses on STEM opportunities in the Cleveland, Ohio area.

Click here to see the full bios and photos of these coordinators.
    Throughout my professional life, in the spirit of “Each One Teach One”, I have reached out at every opportunity to young people to encourage and mentor them to pursue careers in Science and Technology”, stated Dr. Earls. “Now, I am calling on my younger peers to do the same.”
    The Ohio Academy of Science and Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio developed the program entitled Believe In Ohio, A STEM Bridge to Ohio’s Innovation Economy of the Future, with support from The Ohio General Assembly and The Ohio Board of Regents. More information is available at

    March 21, 2015

    Taser Death: David Werblow (Branford, CT)

    Unidentified Branford Police Department officers used their tasers to kill an unarmed 41-year old man, David Werblow, in front of his home on March 15. [SOURCE]  Werblow's neighbors indicate that he was tased by police at least three times.

    Police arrived at the scene as a result of a 911 call earlier in the evening reporting a disturbance at this residence. When they arrived Werblow was walking down the street of his neighborhood. There is no indication that anyone was in harm's way. The victim was unarmed. After the tasers were used the police placed him in handcuffs ... he was pronounced at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

    The American Civil Liberties Union said in 2014 that since 2005 at least 14 people have died in the state after police deployed a Taser stun gun on them.

    The ACLU released a statement on Monday regarding the Branford incident, saying while they don’t have any details on the incident, it “reinforces the need for oversight mechanisms associated with Tasers.” The release said the organization will seek any available video and documentary evidence as well as accounts of what happened.