Jim Otte With Gov.-Elect Mike DeWine

Gov.-elect Mike DeWine to host event for kids at Air Force Museum ahead of inauguration

DeWine, the first Ohio governor from the Miami Valley in nearly 100 years, will spend some of the day on Jan. 13 promoting STEM education at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

“It made sense to do something in the Miami Valley,” DeWine, who was raised near Yellow Springs and will be sworn in at his Cedarville home shortly after midnight on Jan. 14, said.

DeWine will host the Air Force Museum’s Science, Discover, and Family Fun event, which offers free activities and simulations to children and families to promote STEM education.

STEM education is “very important” for the state, DeWine said Sunday as he toured the museum prior to the event.

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The event will take place from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday and is open to the public. DeWine said he and his wife, Fran, will be there, along with some of their children and grandchildren.

“Any time we have the opportunity to promote it, to promote science and technology, we should do it,” DeWine said.

Maj. Gen. William Cooley, who commands the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, said DeWine’s interest in the event could lead to an increased collaboration between the state and the Air Force when it comes to STEM.

The Air Force spends millions on STEM education and events each year, Cooley said. Sunday’s free event will be a way to showcase STEM programs and education, he said.

“We expect thousands of kids and parents and grandparents at this event,” Cooley said, adding that furthering STEM education is part of the military’s national defense strategy.

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“This is a jewel,” DeWine said of the Air Force Museum. “People from all over the world come here.”

DeWine hopes to further STEM education as governor by investing more money in career centers and keeping them up to part with other schools, he said. DeWine invested in STEM education as Ohio Attorney General, including the BCI Science School program that introduces youth to forensic science.

Education will be an important part of his first 100 days in office, DeWine said, as he hopes to address education and drugs in schools soon after taking office.

“We’re going to try to move forward very quickly in regard to K-12 drug prevention,” DeWine said.

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