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COSI and COTA Announce New Partnership to Bring COSI on Wheels: Curbside Edition to Several Columbus City School Locations

Thursday, 06 August 2020

Author: Jaclyn Reynolds

COLUMBUS, OH – COSI on Wheels, COSI’s beloved educational outreach program for more than 38 years has joined with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) to expand the program to meet the growing needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COSI on Wheels: Curbside experience brings science learning opportunities to Columbus City School locations, neighborhood parks, libraries, and other community locations – and especially underserved neighborhoods in our city. To help bridge the digital divide, COSI and COTA will host nine COSI on Wheels events at five Columbus City School locations beginning Thursday, August 6 and every Tuesday and Thursday through early September.

At each midday event, COSI will deliver its Wi-Fi enabled COSI Connects mobile unit and COTA will provide an amplified Wi-Fi enabled transit vehicle, to create a large free hotspot location. Students and families will have the ability to download the new free COSI Connects app and download STEM content to their mobile devices for offline use later at home. To ensure social distancing, students will be able to download the content as long as they are standing within 100 feet of the vehicles. The goal is for students to take these STEM lessons home and prepare for the upcoming school year, which will begin for the first time in a virtual learning environment.

Each event will also feature an exciting COSI science demonstration and coincides with the Columbus City Schools breakfast and lunch distribution program. Students will receive free meals and a science lesson in a matter of minutes.

“COSI is proud to partner with COTA, Columbus City Schools and our other partners to provide STEM education to our community by leveraging our digital platform, COSI Connects,” said Dr. Frederic Bertley, COSI President and CEO. “It is important to us to be able to offer fantastic resources to keep kids engaged in science education during this pandemic and provide it right in their neighborhoods. We are thankful to the City of Columbus for supporting this incredible community partnership.”

“This is a great example of how creativity and partnerships can grow and thrive in times of great need,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton. “As the region’s mobility solutions provider, we are challenged daily to use STEM principles to find ways to ensure everyone has the mobility they need to access basic needs and essential services. COTA is proud to work with dynamic organizations such as COSI and Columbus City Schools to find equitable opportunities for prosperity, especially at an unprecedented time that challenges how our community will support younger generations to use their imaginations. We are glad to reinforce to Columbus students that learning can still happen outside the classroom and hope we can all approach this unique, new school year with an appetite to do the unexpected.”

The schedule for the COTA bus will be Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout August (beginning August 6) at the following locations:

  • August 6, 11am – 1pm. Location - Starling K-8, 145 S Central Ave, Columbus, OH 43222
  • August 11 and 13, 11am – 1pm. Location - South High School, 1160 Ann St, Columbus, OH 43206
  • August 18 and 20, 11am – 1pm. Location - Woodward Park Middle School, 5151 Karl Rd, Columbus, OH 43229
  • August 25 and 27, 11am – 1pm. Location - Buckeye Middle School, 2950 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43207
  • September 1 and 3, 11am – 1pm. Location - Columbus Africentric Early College K-12, 3223 Allegheny Ave, Columbus, OH 43209
The “COSI on Wheels: Curbside” initiative is supported by a $250,000 grant from the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks. COSI has been closed since March 13, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the closure, COSI has been engaging the community through COSI Connects, COSI’s digital doorway to online learning. COSI continues to look for innovative ways to expand learning opportunities including the recent launch of Learning Lunchboxes, kits filled with hands-on science activities funded by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, now being distributed throughout the county in partnership with the Children’s Hunger Alliance. For more information on COSI Connects visit cosi.org/connects.

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About the Author

Jaclyn Reynolds

Jaclyn Reynolds

Jaclyn Reynolds is the Director of Communications for COSI. She has worked in communications and PR for more than 16 years. She has worked as a TV news producer in cable news and as a public information officer and communications specialist in state government.