Blog Posts For The Week Of August 22, 2014 Through August 28, 2014

Release: New Ohio Roadmap Published Mileposts to future jobs and prosperity
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: August, 28 2014 8:42 AM

Columbus (August 27, 2014) … The Ohio Academy of Science today unveiled a new Ohio roadmap, but the roads don’t lead to big cities or the hinterlands. Instead, the map’s mileposts chart a course to future jobs and prosperity. Prepared for the Believe In Ohio program, the map is a brainstorming tool to help high school students develop STEM commercialization and business plans in a new $2 million, state-wide student competition.

Supported by The Ohio General Assembly and The Ohio Board of Regents, Believe In Ohio is a free new program from The Ohio Academy of Science and Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio that helps Ohio high school students prepare for the future and encourages them to become the innovators and entrepreneurs Ohio will need to create jobs and prosperity in the future.

Believe In Ohio helps students develop their critical thinking skills and offers them an opportunity to compete for nearly $2 million in cash awards and college scholarships. Competitions will be held in local schools, multi-county regions and at the state level. Believe In Ohio will open students’ eyes to what they will experience in the future and how to prepare for it, inspire students’ interests in STEM where many of the best jobs and careers of the future will be, plant seeds of entrepreneurship to give them the tools to create their own future and provide a competition for cash awards and Ohio college scholarships.

Ohio’s high school science, technology and business teachers also will benefit from Believe In Ohio through grants, professional development and more. They also can be recognized as accomplished teachers under Ohio’s new teacher evaluation system.

Brainstorming mileposts that students must reach include statement of a problem, proposed solution, underlying STEM concepts, target customers and intended users, competitors, value proposition or competitive advantage, revenue streams and operating costs. Written reports for competition require an elevator speech and an executive summary.

STEM commercialization plans must contain a scientific or engineering proof of concept while a STEM business plan also must provide a business or financial proof of concept with a projected three year budget.

Entitled Believe In Ohio–A STEM Bridge to Ohio’s Innovation Economy of the Future, the Believe in Ohio program was developed by The Ohio Academy of Science and Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio with support from NorTech, The Ohio General Assembly and The Ohio Board of Regents.

Further information on Believe In Ohio is available at www.BelieveinOhio.org

Op-Ed: Pickaway County Commissioner Brian S. Stewart
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: August, 27 2014 4:28 PM

It is becoming harder and harder to remember the days before cell phones.

Today, cell phones are virtually everywhere. Unsurprisingly, this has also led to a major changes in the way Americans use the 911 system. Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimates that as much as 70% of the calls to 911 originate from a cell phone, and this number is only going upwards. Unfortunately, the FCC also warns that 911 calls made from a cell phone often lack sufficient location accuracy. Stated more simply, it is often too difficult for first responders to locate 911 callers when they make their calls from a cell phone.

With this in mind, the FCC has enacted a rule requiring wireless providers to modernize location accuracy standards for wireless emergency calls, making it easier for first responders to locate the location of 911 callers.

This proposed rule-which has the support of emergency responders across the country-will update the location accuracy standards for wireless 911 calls over a reasonable two-year time period. The FCC estimates that implementing the proposed rule would save as many as 10,000 lives per year.

The cell phone carriers are putting up a fight to delay these improved standards, citing the cost of compliance. However, public safety is a price worth paying, and it is already being borne by local governments and their taxpayers across Ohio. In Pickaway County, for example, we have spent nearly two years planning to implement other federal and state mandates in the area of 911, specifically "Next Gen 911." Soon, our Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) will be required to accept text messages smartphone video, and to be able to communicate by text with callers in real-time. "Next Gen 911" standards will improve public safety, but they also come with a price.

Therefore, our taxpayers will be footing the bill for many expensive improvements. Cell phone carriers should bear their portion of the costs as well.

Simply put, residents calling 911 need help as quickly as possible, and the FCC's rule sets a reasonable standard to make this a reality. There should be no more delay from cell phone carriers in making these crucial improvements to public safety.

Brian S. Stewart serves as a Pickaway County Commissioner.

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