Ohio Students As Renaissance Engineers

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A group of Ohio University students from the organization called Renaissance Engineers volunteered their time at the Chauncey Public Library to teach the local children how to build their own flashlights.

When asked why the organization wanted to volunteer at Chauncey, Renaissance Engineers President, Evan Streator, said kids in Chauncey often don’t get the level of support and attention as kids in Athens city.

“They don’t get as much exposure to things such as engineering, math, and science,” Streator said. “ We were looking to give them that opportunity by taking the project such as ‘Build Your Own Flashlight’ to them to give them that exposure.”

Chauncey librarian, Adrienne Wolf, agreed with Streator and said the library is always looking for more student volunteers to put on events because they provide a safe and educational after-school environment.

“There’s not much going on in this town,” Wolf said. ” These other [library] branches need people to come and volunteer and be active or get engaged with the students.”

Athens City Schools Superintendent, Tom Gibbs, says about 60 percent of the students in the Athens school system live outside the Athens city limits. Gibbs says families, like those in Chauncey, are living at or below the poverty line, making it difficult for parents to be with their kids once school is let out.

Gibbs said he would like to see more Ohio University students become mentors to the children who live in the Chauncey area in order to provide the extra source of guidance, knowledge and motivation they need.

“I would encourage more college students to get involved with students who are out in the county and the families who are out in the county,” Gibbs said. “My best advice when you do interact with folks is treat everyone you meet with dignity and kindness and respect and I think you’ll get the same in return.”

In addition to exposing these rural students to more math and science, Ohio University students are also helping them build self confidence and valuable life skills despite their socio-economic backgrounds and geographic locations.

Renaissance Engineers will also hold their flashlight workshop at The Plains and Glouster branch libraries within the next couple of weeks.