London school leader named COSI STEM Star

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Messenger photos by Josephine Birdsell
Lou Kramer (second from left), superintendent of London City Schools, pours liquid nitrogen into a bottle held by Mayor Patrick Closser (far right). COSI representatives Stephen White (left) and Josh Sarver (second from right) oversaw the demonstration, which took place at London’s Rib & Jazz Fest as in conjunction with the presentation of a STEM Star Award to Kramer. (Science fun fact: When the cap on a bottle full of liquid nitrogen is twisted shut, pressure builds in the bottle causing the cap to fly off.)

(Posted Aug. 8, 2019)

By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) presented Lou Kramer, superintendent of London City Schools, with a STEM Star Award at the London Rib & Jazz Fest on Aug. 3.

The STEM Star Award recognizes individuals who are making an impact in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

London Mayor Patrick Closser said that when COSI approached him about finding a local STEM star, he thought of Kramer and his efforts to boost STEM programming at London City Schools.

During the 2018-19 school year, the school district launched an initiative to promote science education in each of its buildings. The district established programs in robotics, automation, stability and motion for elementary school students, supported a pre-established robotics club at the middle school, and introduced STEM pathways in vocational agriculture, biomedicine and computer science at the high school.

For the upcoming school year, the district plans to establish additional high school courses in biomedicine and computer science and pilot a new career intern program.

London Mayor Patrick Closser (left) and Lou Kramer, superintendent of London City Schools, are all smiles after Kramer was named a COSI STEM Star Award winner.

“We’re picking (Kramer) to represent not only the schools but the city of London and our community as we push forward with STEM to get these kids ready for the future,” Closser said.

“I’m very humbled by it, actually,” Kramer said about receiving the award. “I started my education career as a fifth-grade science teacher. So, COSI has been a part of my life and my teaching career … It’s really neat that the mayor’s office would think of me to represent London in conjunction with COSI. It’s a nice way to kind of bring (my career) full circle.”

As a STEM Star Award winner, Kramer will serve as a grand marshal for COSI’s Science Festival, set for May 6-9, 2020. Free family-friendly, hands-on activities will take place at COSI in downtown Columbus those three days, as well as throughout the year in surrounding communities, including London.

“The goal is to help people feel comfortable with STEM to improve science literacy in the community,” said Stephen White, COSI’s vice president of external affairs, strategic initiatives, and business development.

Earlier this summer, COSI named London as one of its partner cities for next year’s Science Festival. The others are Circleville, Delaware, Heath, Marysville and Pickerington.

Lou Kramer, superintendent of London City Schools (second from right), and Josh Sarver, COSI’s vice president of exhibits and programs, shake hands after finishing a demonstration in which they used liquid nitrogen to create the cloud on the ground in front of them. Stephen White (left), COSI’s vice president of external affairs, strategic initiatives and business development, and London Mayor Patrick Closser took part, too. (Science fun facts: Liquid nitrogen is 320 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. When it cools the surrounding air, the humidity or water droplets in the air “come together just like a cloud in the sky,” said Sarver.)

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