OSU's Science & Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) is a partnership between the university and 14 Oregon school districts - mostly rural, many with a high proportion of American Indian and Hispanic students - to provide science and math enrichment for underrepresented and other educationally underserved students in grades 4-12.
Since its launch in 1988, SMILE has served as a pathway for introducing thousands of students to science learning, moving many of them on to post-secondary education and careers in science. The program also offers workshops for teachers to build their science education skills.
The program conducts a year-round schedule of activities designed to provide hands-on science experience, strengthen students' knowledge, and raise their academic and career aspirations. OSU resource faculty and SMILE Program professional staff provide scientific and pedagogic expertise, access to equipment, mentoring, computer networking, teacher training, and administrative support; the schools provide energetic students and dedicated teachers.
Ocean sciences programming is provided by the Cooperative Institute for Oceanographic Satellite Studies (CIOSS), with NOAA support, and by the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. An annual SMILE Oceanography challenge, a day and a half long event in April on the campuses of OSU and Western Oregon University, brings student teams together to solve an open-ended, community-based problem related to oceanography, challenging them to work together to gather data and create and present a plan to address the problem.