**Race Alert!**
Due to road closures related to the Susan B Komen Race for the Cure event downtown, the parking garage under Dorrian Green park next to COSI will open at approximately 9:50am. Please note that heavier than normal traffic is expected throughout the downtown area from 7:30am-10:30am.

NASA and COSI Launch National STEM Partnership

Thursday, 23 December 2021

On eve of the Launch of the Historic James Webb Telescope, NASA and COSI announce new learning initiative to support STEM education for underserved youth through COSI Connects and the NASA Learning Lunchbox STEM Kits

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Center of Science and Industry (COSI), the top-ranked science center in the country by USA Today’s 10Best, and NASA have teamed up to launch a partnership to engage, inspire, and transform lives and communities of underserved youth and families through COSI Connects and the COSI-NASA Learning Lunchbox STEM kit.

COSI and NASA have signed an official Space Act Agreement to support the national distribution of COSI Connects Learning Lunchboxes across the nation. As part of the agreement, NASA will collaborate with COSI by providing critical content around science, technology, engineering and math to support resources and learning opportunities specifically for COSI Connects, which will be included in the Learning Lunchbox.

This month, COSI will distribute it’s 50,000th NASA Learning Lunchbox. To celebrate this COSI-NASA partnership milestone and the launch of the James Webb Telescope, COSI President & CEO, Dr. Frederic Bertley will be interviewing NASA’s Deputy Project Scientist for Planetary Science, Dr. Stefanie Milam.

Studies show that the COVID-19 pandemic has created learning loss and disparities in learning. The COSI Connects: Learning Lunchbox initiative is an innovative program led by COSI and an unprecedented collaboration of meal providers, libraries, museums, and cultural institutions across the state to deliver hundreds of thousands of free, hands-on science kits called Learning Lunchbox kits to help bridge the gap. These boxes, historically created to be distributed alongside meal programs, provide five activities aligned with state and national learning standards and promote science, technology, engineering, arts, math (STEAM), culture, history, and more. The Learning Lunchboxes are tailored to specific themes, such as Space, created in partnership with NASA.

This unprecedented effort has already reached all corners of Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, and more while bringing together over 400+ partners to help address the education needs (see sample report available HERE).

"The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to demonstrate the challenge with learning, and has exacerbated the learning gap for those that are most in need. This new partnership with NASA will unleash STEM engagement across multiple channels for families and youth, through kits, digital, and hands-on fun delivered at home and in the classroom. We thank President Biden, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, Associate Administrator Mike Kincaid and the entire NASA Team for their support as we deliver learning to underserved youth across the nation, said Dr. Frederic Bertley, President & CEO, COSI.

"STEM education is critical now as we prepare the next generation for space and this partnership with COSI demonstrates how we can work collaboratively to help close the education gap, and fuel learning for those in need." said NASA Associate Administrator, Mike Kincaid.

To date, COSI has distributed almost 100,000 Learning Lunchbox kits to serve students, families and underserved youth. Throughout the pandemic, COSI has been engaging with the community through COSI Connects, COSI’s digital doorway to online learning; the COSI Learning Lunchbox, kits filled with hands-on science activities; the new “COSI on Wheels: Curbside Edition,” The Color of Science: Digital Edition and QED with Dr. B, a WOSU-COSI prime time science television show.

COSI is now open Thursdays through Sundays, 10am – 5pm. To find out more about these programs and its new upcoming exhibit, Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, and to reserve your tickets to visit COSI online, please visit cosi.org.