CJ STEMM showcased at PLTW Summit

Chaminade Julienne was chosen to showcase its dually certified STEMM education program (science, technology, engineering, math, and an added "M" for medicine) as a model for other schools in Ohio and throughout the United States.

Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, will present the program at the national Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Summit on Nov. 3. More than 1,700 people who are invested in STEM education are expected to be in attendance at the four-day conference in Indianapolis.

"Being invited to be a presenter during the PLTW Summit means you have a unique opportunity to share experiences from your workplace, which can benefit your peers and others committed to help solve the education and workforce development challenges facing our nation," said Terri Schulz, senior director of school engagement for PLTW's Midwest Region.

Draeger worked as an engineer in the manufacturing and health care industries for nine years prior to coming to CJ in 2009. She also previously served as engineering program manager for the Miami Valley Tech Prep Consortium at Sinclair Community College for 12 years.

“STEMM programs should be integrated into the teaching and learning process at schools everywhere. I hope one day that these programs become a natural way of learning for all students,” Draeger said. She also presented for a second consecutive year at the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education (NWO) Symposium at Bowling Green State University on Nov. 1.

"Students need to understand, be aware of and be prepared for STEM jobs because there are so many opportunities for them in the Dayton area and around the world," Draeger said. "We at CJ also feel called to engage students in these subjects in light of Catholic values and social justice."

Dayton, Ohio is considered a national hotbed for advanced manufacturing and STEM education. The region boasts approximately 3,000 manufacturing companies and was named No. 10 on the 2014 list of "Top 20 Places for STEM" grads by NerdWallet.

In 2011, CJ became Ohio's first Catholic high school to earn national PLTW certification in both the biomedical sciences and pre-engineering curricular tracks. The school opened its $4 million, 17,000 sq. ft. CJ STEMM Center in August 2013 to support and enhance the curriculum for all students and educators.

"We have been blessed with the right educators, the right local and national partnerships, and new spaces in one of the strongest STEM regions in the country. Now it's up to us to share our success story with others who wish to accomplish the same things for high school and middle school students. They are the future workforce of tomorrow," Draeger said.

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