Morlan Osgood, 16, of Loveland, Ohio, a junior at Loveland High School, co-founded an educational program that has helped more than 14,000 students in grades 2-12 develop their interest and skills in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) through summer camps, after-school classes, conference workshops and other activities. Years ago, Morlan tutored a girl who hated math. Instead of using traditional tools such as flashcards, Morlan taught the girl how to use math concepts to program a LEGO robot. "The light bulb went on and she is now taking honors math courses!" said Morlan. "I realized if I could inspire one child, I could create a team to inspire hundreds."
Morlan and her two brothers began recruiting other teens with strong STEM and interpersonal skills to teach and mentor kids, especially students who lack educational resources. Using LEGO robotic applications, the Osgoods and their "STEMs for Youth" organization now host seven summer camps and six after-school classes in Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota and the District of Columbia. They also make presentations at national and international conferences, and teach technology classes for senior citizens. Morlan has spent more than 2,000 hours over the past five years on all aspects of STEMs for Youth, including curriculum development, fundraising, event planning, promotion and collaboration with business people and school administrators. "We are making a difference!" said Morlan. "Over 80 percent of our participants want to pursue STEM subjects and careers!"