Chief Science Officers

eight middle school students are kneeling in front of a WWII navy airplane.

About the Program

The Chief Science Officers (CSO Program) began as a national program for STEM leaders in 2017. The program focuses on a student-driven model that launches middle and high school students into STEM advocacy, experience, and community response.     

In their schools and communities, CSOs are STEM leaders - launching initiatives and opportunities for their peers. After attending leadership training with the Center, students are in a good position to increase their exposure to existing community STEM programs or to start new initiatives. Whether is it hosting a guest speaker, growing a robotics program, starting a coding club, or something entirely new, CSOs focus on building meaningful experiences within their community.     

Outside of their school, CSOs build their leaderships skills through real-world, career-oriented experiences. Cabinet meetings allow CSOs to engage with their peers and other STEM professionals as they model business norms and work on collaborative action projects

As a Chief Science Officer 


  • Participate in a Leadership Training Institute and Cabinet Meetings focused on creating a global network of diverse STEM leaders.
  • Define community as school, neighborhood or beyond.
  • Create a STEM project that relates to this community.
  • Positively impact the STEM culture in your community collaborate with peers, mentors and professionals to complete your project.
  • With support, apply for grants to fund your STEM project.

As a CSO Mentor

Teacher or school staff: 

  • Participate in a Leadership Training Institute and Cabinet Meetings.
  • Sponsor election of CSOs at your school.
  • Help students pace project to stay on track with CSO calendar.
  • Serve as the connection point between students and CMU.
  • Coordinate participate in CSO events (permission slips, transportation, etc.).

Join us: Looking to grow STEM leadership in your school? We are partnering with middle and high schools in Clare, Gratiot, Isabella, and Gladwin Counties. Contact Ashley O'Neil to get involved.