CJ STEMM Wins Award For Excellence

Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School was among 48 Ohio schools selected to receive the Governor’s Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in STEM Education acknowledging its innovative science, technology, engineering and math curriculum.

The school was recognized by the Ohio Academy of Science with a perfect rating of 10 after demonstrating its commitment to STEM education in an external review by state businesses, government agencies and universities. CJ is one of just two area high schools to receive a perfect score in 2011.

According to Dr. Lynn E. Elfner, CEO of the Ohio Academy of Science, the award attests to the value a school and its faculty members place on student-originated, inquiry-based science and technology education. Entering its fourth year, CJ’s unique STEMM program (expanded to include the field of medicine) allows students to explore and engage in hands-on activities beyond the classroom.

“Chaminade Julienne is engaged in project-based curricula, the central element of any STEM education program,” Dr. Elfner said. “Whole new worlds of opportunities open up to students when they complete research or technological design projects.”

During the 2010-11 school year, 40 students participated in the school-wide science fair, of whom 14 qualified for the County Fair, six qualified for District competition and five for the State Science Day, with three winning special awards at the fair in Columbus. Additionally, more than 50 students were members of last year’s National Science Olympiad teams, and more than 75 students helped introduce hundreds of area grade schoolers to STEMM-related topics through a number of community outreach events including CJ Discovery Days (February and April, 2011), Open House and the Gateway Academy summer camp.

“Winning the Governor’s Award is meaningful because it reflects the success that our intentional and significant effort to continually improve STEMM education is having at CJ,” Draeger said. The school’s focus on STEMM education is rooted in its partnership with Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a national non-profit engineering and biomedical sciences program first established at CJ in 2008-09.

In the June 2011, CJ became the only Catholic high school in the nation—one of only 11 total—and one of four secondary schools in Ohio to be dually certified to provide PLTW courses in engineering and biomedical science. Last school year, more than 50 students were enrolled in one of six PLTW courses taught by CJ’s four certified instructors—Brad Kassner, Amy O’Loughlin, Amanda Ooten, and Bob Young.