Project Lead the Way (PLTW) President and CEO Vince Bertram visited CJ the morning of Nov. 20 to meet biomedical science and engineering students and teachers, chat with school administration, and tour the $3.6 million CJ STEMM Center.
The head of the nation’s leading provider of K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education programs traveled from the non-profit organization’s headquarters in Indianapolis to Dayton to present at the PLTW Ohio Fall Conference at Sinclair.
“Too often you learn math over here, and you learn science over here,” he said. “We try to bring all that together where you apply math and science through our Project Lead the Way curriculum.”
Senior CJ students Margot Duffy ‘15, Julianne Evans ‘15, Monica Rains ‘15 and Jarred Stamper ‘15 sat down for an intimate discussion with Mr. Bertram and PLTW representatives. Students told of the positive and often inspiring experiences they've encountered while enrolled in CJ PLTW courses.
Topics of discussion included current world news and events, the impact of CJ’s upgraded STEMM Center facilities, and the breakthroughs students have made while working and learning in the newly renovated spaces. The seniors also introduced Mr. Bertram to their social justice Capstone project, which is directed at raising awareness for blood and tissue donation.
“We need role models like you,” Bertram told them. “ You’ve had this great experience [as PLTW students] and you’re going to do great things.”
In a humble and frank manner, he asked the teens for direct feedback on ways to improve the national PLTW curriculum, and encouraged them to continue sharing their ideas with him after enrolling in college programs by joining the PLTW Alumni Association — a free networking resource open to anyone who has completed two high school PLTW courses.
Before departing for the conference at Sinclair, Mr. Bertram and company were treated to a tour of the CJ STEMM Center, where he stopped to address teacher Amy O’Loughlin’s Human Body Systems class (pictured above).
Mr. Bertram served as keynote speaker at the PLTW Ohio conference, where CJ teachers joined educators from around the state for breakout sessions and to hear from their peers. Among the presenters, Mrs. O’Loughlin spoke on behalf of the CJ STEMM program.