Middle-school students with super conducting train.Earth Sciences Emeritus Professor Garry McKenzie started the Breakfast of Science Champions in 1998 to give middle-school students a chance to engage in hands-on science using resources their schools don’t have.

This year, 133 students from eight Columbus city middle schools spent the morning of Feb. 8 at five separate educational sites.

“We have an amazing array of world-class research centers here at Ohio State, and an important part of their mission involves education and outreach to share their expertise with schools and the public,” said Chris Andersen, director of Ohio State’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Initiatives.

“The Breakfast of Science Champions is a great opportunity for our faculty and staff to ‘pay it forward’ to inspire the next generation of budding scientists and engineers.”

“Our hosting research centers do a great job of making learning fun.” Andersen said. “Who wouldn’t enjoy flash-freezing a carnation in -321 degree liquid nitrogen?”

But there’s more than science learning going on during the visit, Andersen pointed out. "For many of these young visitors, it is their first time on a university campus; spending a morning with Ohio State students and scientists makes it much easier to picture themselves as future college students and scientists."