LIFT and Battelle Celebrate Top MakerMinded Schools in Ohio

Digital learning platform recognizes student achievements in advanced manufacturing and STEM

COLUMBUS, OHIO (JULY 30, 2019)LIFT – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, a Detroit-based national manufacturing innovation institute and member of Manufacturing USA, and the Ohio STEM Learning Network announced the winning schools of the Buckeye State’s 2018-2019 MakerMinded competition. This competition expands students’ and schools’ access to world-class advanced manufacturing and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning experiences through an online platform. The Ohio STEM Learning Network is managed by Battelle, the world’s largest independent nonprofit research and development organization.

Led by LIFT, MakerMinded launched in Ohio in 2017 to inspire more middle and high school students to pursue advanced manufacturing careers and equip them with 21st-century skills indemand at Ohio’s over 12,000 manufacturers that currently employ more than 680,000 people.

The SCOPES Academy @ Unioto Elementary School and Northridge Middle School in Johnstown, Ohio are being recognized for their students’ outstanding performance in MakerMinded, and will receive $2000 to spend on educational technologies from Eduporium.

These schools are just two of the many middle and high schools across Ohio whose students are participating in cutting-edge education programs and activities through MakerMinded, and becoming the future workforce Ohio needs to maintain and grow its manufacturing economy. Ohio’s MakerMinded students are working towards becoming members of the future workforce needed to maintain and grow the manufacturing economy.

“These MakerMinded students in Ohio are becoming the next generation of innovators and makers,” said Emily DeRocco, vice-president, education and workforce development, LIFT. “They prove we have the talent and the passion in our students to be a globally competitive manufacturing force; we just need to provide more opportunities for young people to access the right learning opportunities and hone their skills.”

Students and teachers across Ohio are part of a national MakerMinded network that includes schools in Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and West Virginia. LIFT works with local partners to onboard schools and recruit student participants. To date, more than 6,000 students and teachers from more than 500 middle and high schools are participating in MakerMinded.

“The MakerMinded program provides a framework for students to explore manufacturing and STEM career paths for themselves,” said Aimee Kennedy, senior vice president for education and philanthropy at Battelle. “In Ohio, educators are finding new ways to incorporate STEM and manufacturing opportunities into their classrooms thanks to this program.”

Jenni Domo, director at SCOPES Academy @ Unioto Elementary School, praised MakerMinded for empowering her and her students:

“Our field trips to advanced manufacturing plants were amazing as students were able to see and interact with real STEMists in the field,” Domo said. “As a teacher, I gained a lot professionally from these trips and experienced real manufacturing workplaces I would not have previously thought to visit. My students learned so much this year as a result of the determination they gave to the MakerMinded program. The ‘voice and choice’ that I gave them in selecting their own activities empowered them as active learners in charge of their own educational future.”

Laura Roberts, teacher at Northridge Middle School in Johnstown, Ohio highlighted the opportunities her students had to think outside of the classroom:

“Northridge Middle School students in the STEM and Technology program strive towards a goal of using the 4C’s: collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking,” said Roberts. “MakerMinded set a pathway forward for curriculum and this goal to forge as one. Students developed a passion for the engineering design process to solve problems within the scope of the curriculum, but also in a greater scope of community development.”

Designed by LIFT and Tennessee Tech University’s iCUBE, MakerMinded directly links students to a diverse range of national and local advanced manufacturing programs, including manufacturing facility tours, gaming activities, and project-based learning. MakerMinded also includes a competition component, as students and schools receive points for each completed activity. Points are tallied on a real-time online leader board and the top schools are celebrated at year-end recognition events.

Students, schools, employers and others interested in joining the Ohio MakerMinded campaign should visit

About LIFT – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow
LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research.

About Battelle
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers.

Battelle also manages a range of successful projects bringing quality STEM education to students including the Ohio STEM Learning Network, Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, and the national STEMx network.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit

For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614) 424-7208 or or T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or

Scopes Academy Unioto Elementary School students participating in challenges


Northridge Middle School in Johnstown students host guest speaker and build prototypes

Jacey Cavanagh
(610) 637-2796

Joe Steele
(313) 309-9132

Katy Delaney
(614) 424-7208