In 2009, Northern Kentucky University's Department of Biological Sciences and the Foundation for Ohio River Education (FORE) started a unique partnership with funds from the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education and support from NKU’s Center for Environmental Education. The goal of the partnership was to use the Ohio River as a teaching tool for “immersing” students and teachers in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. In 2010, the partnership received funding from NKU’s University Community Partnerships Grant to expand our programs into the Ohio River STEM Institute.

As a result of the partnership, NKU and FORE have collaborated on a variety of programs that have focused on water quality testing, Ohio River Ecology, and current pollution issues, for a diverse collection of audiences including students, science teachers, watershed volunteers, environmental educators, NKU students, and communities! The goal of these programs have been to bring the STEM disciplines to life through innovative, inquiry-based activities, while fostering strong a sense of connection and stewardship of the Ohio River among our audiences!