The Columbia Gorge STEM Hub recently introduced the 17 middle and high school students from Hood River and The Dalles who will serve as Chief Science Officers this coming school year.

These students are joining a cohort of peer-elected student leaders from across eastern and southern Oregon. In their role as CSOs, students will be advocates for STEM and science in their schools, gathering insights from their peers, working with teachers and administrators, and bringing important topics to local and state government, said a press release.

“The Gorge Chief Science Officers will also be working on action plans through the school year to impact STEM access in their community,” continued the release. “Creating a school makerspace, changing the perspective towards STEM at school, and battling the teen vaping epidemic with science are just a few of their plans for this year.”

Chief Science Officers is a growing international program. With funding from the National Science Foundation, corporate sponsors, and government entities, there are now CSOs in several U.S. states, Mexico and Kuwait.

In the Gorge, the CSO program is funded by the Oregon Department of Education’s STEM Innovation Fund and led by the Columbia Gorge STEM Hub.

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