Six representatives from the Bel Air High School (BAHS) Biomedical Sciences program – five seniors and one former student – were invited to Washington, D.C. on March 1 to present their class projects at the 2016 “I am CTE: STEM-Savvy and Career-Ready” congressional reception.
Senators Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) were present at the event. Each senator, the senate staff, and hundreds of other attendees related to the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) organizations spoke individually to the BAHS students to learn more about the type of work high school students in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs are completing to help prepare for a future STEM career.
The senators also shared from a podium their interests in STEM and CTE education and what compelled them to create a congressional caucus on the topic.
Natalie Neff and Anna Wehland presented a project on autopsy for which a fetal pig dissection Trello board was shown and a cause of death case file was built.
Devin Hott and Sammy Bowen shared a Sketchup model of an emergency department design, as well as an innovative app they created to help the function of their hypothetical department.
Brandon Marino presented a digital model of a 3D printed cast created to address the issues commonly associated with plaster casts.
BAHS Biomed alumna Damali Egyen-Davis took a day off from her studies as a biomedical engineering major at Johns Hopkins University to attend the event and present the work she completed last year for her Independent Project, in which she shadowed prosthetists and created an air flow innovation for prosthetic limbs.
Other speakers during the event included Tom Luna, vice president of PLTW, and Doug Meyer, president of ACTE. These two organizations provide curriculum and support for schools, teachers, and students working with CTE programs.
The BAHS Biomed students attending took home a new and impressive foundation of knowledge for the rationale behind the development of the program they are involved in.