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Story Ideas for Media 4-28-08


Students team up with local agencies to tackle trash.
Students studying public policy at Ohio State have joined forces with Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) to explore ways to help increase business recycling in central Ohio.
"Understanding the economic and political realities of environmental policymaking is the first step in developing workable policy choices," said Alan Wiseman, assistant professor of political science and director of the Public Policy Minor at Ohio State. Students in Wiseman's course will step outside the classroom to learn first-hand the challenges involved in getting local businesses to do more recycling. The students will be looking at other cities for possible legislative solutions. Their recommendations will be presented to the City, SWACO and MORPC for inclusion in a study that SWACO already has underway. CONTACT: Liz Alcalde, (614) 247-4462.


New study on learning: concrete examples don't help students learn math.
A new study challenges the common practice in many classrooms of teaching mathematical concepts by using "real-world," concrete examples.
Researchers led by Jennifer Kaminski, research scientist at Ohio State University's Center for Cognitive Science, found that college students who learned a mathematical concept with concrete examples couldn't apply that knowledge to new situations.
But when students first learned the concept with abstract symbols, they were much more likely to transfer that knowledge, according to the study published in the April 25 issue of the journal "Science."
These findings cast doubt on a long-standing belief in education," said Vladimir Sloutsky, co-author of the study and professor of psychology and human development and the director of the Center for Cognitive Science at Ohio State. "The belief in using concrete examples is very deeply ingrained, and hasn't been questioned or tested." CONTACT: Jennifer Kaminski, (614) 247-8287; Vladimir Sloutsky (614) 292-7594. SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/mathed.htm


Ohio State African American Heritage Festival reaches 30-year milestone – through May 3.
Aaron McGruder, creator of the award-winning animated comedy series "The Boondocks," will participate in the 30th anniversary of the African American Heritage Festival, which takes place through Saturday (5/3) at Ohio State.
A world-renowned cartoonist and political commentator, McGruder will share his insight on the creation of the series during a community forum at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (4/30) at the Newport Music Hall, 1722 N. High St. Throughout the week, Ohio State students will participate in the ColumbusReads literacy program at area Columbus City Schools. Two campus favorites also return to the schedule, the "Poetry Slam" (4/29) and "Soul Time at OSU" (5/1).
The week closes with the 21st Annual National Pan-Hellenic Step Show at 6 p.m. on Saturday (5/3) at Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St. A limited number of discount tickets are available for $12 at Explore Columbus for Ohio State students with a valid BuckID. General admission tickets are $15 and available at the Mershon ticket office and all Ticketmaster outlets. CONTACT: Gabrielle St. Léger, (614) 688-8449. SEE: http://heritagefestival.osu.edu/

NASA leader to deliver lecture on climate change – May 1. James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, will discuss "Climate Tipping Points: The Threat to the Planet" in the 66th Annual Bownocker Lecture at 7 p.m. at the Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road. The event is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by The Ohio State University School of Earth Sciences in conjunction with The Climate, Water and Carbon Program and OSU Institute for Energy and the Environment. SEE: http://www.geology.ohio-state.edu/bownocker.php

'Horton Hears a Who!' Director to visit Ohio State – May 1. Ohio State alumnus Steve Martino, who directed 20th Century Fox's animated feature film "Horton Hears a Who!," will visit campus this week to work with students and give a public presentation. Martino earned degrees from the Departments of Design and Art Education, and studied at the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD), explains Maria Palazzi, director of ACCAD. Martino's public presentation is at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday (5/1) in Page Hall, room 10. The event will include behind-the-scenes footage related to animating the film and how directors translated Dr. Seuss's images to 3D designs. CONTACT: Victoria Ellwood, College of the Arts, (614) 292-6299.

Veterinary students to visit Colerain Elementary – May 2. First and second-year veterinary students from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine will spend the morning with the special-needs students at Colerain Elementary in Columbus. The veterinary students will take a wide variety of animals to the school and will host an outdoor petting area as well as an exotic animal display. Veterinary students will also set up a craft station for the Colerain students to enjoy. This program has become an annual event, due to the overwhelming appreciation of the teachers, administrators and especially the students. CONTACT: Melissa Weber, (614) 292-3752.

Community service is focus of "Rock the Block" – May 3. Ohio State students, faculty and staff will roll up their sleeves for "Rock the Block," from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday (5/3). This single-day community outreach event focuses this year on revitalizing the university district. President Gee will help start the day off during registration, which takes place from 11-11:45 a.m. at 15th Avenue and High Street. Following the service work, volunteers return to 15th and High for a barbeque. CONTACT: Lynanne Wolf-Sabatino, (614) 204-6106.

South Oval transformed for Medieval and Renaissance Festival – May 3. King Arthur takes over the South Oval on Saturday (5/3) as the Council for the Medieval and Renaissance Festival presents "The Road to Camelot" from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The annual Medieval & Renaissance Faire, which is free and open to the public, includes performers, song, dance, swordplay and vendors. CONTACT: Jennifer Torpie. SEE: http://cmrf.org.ohio-state.edu/

Newark Earthworks Day puts history in the spotlight – May 3. Since they were built 2,000 years ago, the mounds of the Newark Earthworks have been a source of worship, mystery and entertainment. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (5/3), Newark Earthworks Day will be celebrated with events at Ohio State's Newark Earthworks Center and at the Great Circle Earthworks in Newark.
The U.S. Department of the Interior has included the Newark Earthworks on a short list of sites which the U.S. intends to nominate for World Heritage status. This year's celebration will compare the Newark earthworks to two World Heritage sites: Stonehenge in England and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon in Mexico. An international assembly of speakers and exhibits will compare the three sites from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the John Gilbert Reese Center at Ohio State at Newark. A ribbon-cutting will follow at 5:30 at the Great Circle Earthworks and the renovated Ohio Historical Society Museum. At 6:30 p.m., the Great Circle will feature ten Aztec descendants from Teotihuacán who will lead a ceremony in dance. CONTACT: Alice E. Hutzel-Bateson, The Ohio State University at Newark, (740) 366-9355. SEE: http://www.newark.osu.edu/IntheSpotlight/Features/FeatureTwo.asp

History of Black Columbus Conference is Saturday – May 3. Health & The Black Family: Mind, Body & Spirit will be the focus of the 5th annual History of Black Columbus Conference. The purpose of the conference is to capture the historical trends and developments that affect health today. The conference, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday (5/3) at Ohio State's Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center, 905 Mt. Vernon Avenue, features panel discussions and presentations by OSU faculty, community members and local public health officials. CONTACT: Marvin Mitchell, African American and African Studies Community Extension Center, (614) 292-3922. SEE: http://aaascec.osu.edu/programs/2008conference.cfm

The person listed as the CONTACT will have the most current information about the story. Call on our media relations staff for help with any Ohio State story: Liz Cook; (614) 292-7276; Shelly Hoffman; (614) 247-4748; Jim Lynch; (614) 247-4110; or Amy Murray; (614) 292-8385.