CJ STEMM Students Explore Careers

More than 120 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) biomedical and engineering students explored career fields at three local STEMM institutions this fall.

First-year PLTW students enrolled in Principles of Biomedical Science visited Sinclair Community College's Hittner Nursing Patient Simulation Lab in late September. The class of 35 received hands-on, college-level instruction from staff members Cecilia Bidigare (associate professor), Vicki Gaffney (assistant professor), Andi Stoops (lab technician) and nursing students Melissa Blankenship and Nicole Moore.

“They could basically train you to do anything you can do at a real hospital,” said freshman Andrew Holmes. Students rotated through four patient care stations where they could try their hand at checking vital signs, using laparoscopic surgery tools, suturing and running a code on simulated patients in a hospital-like environment.

“Suturing was my favorite part,” said Bella Peters, freshman classmate. “We used a bone needle and got to do almost the entire process.”

Teacher Amanda Ooten planned the field trip as a way for students to experience areas of healthcare that might be of interest to them after high school. “My goal for this year is to provide as many of these hands-on experiences as possible so that my students will leave this class with a better idea of their future career path,” she said.

Engineering students celebrate National Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY) on Oct. 4.

All CJ students enrolled in a PLTW engineering course had the opportunity to celebrate National Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY) on Oct. 4 at events hosted by two local businesses.

Bastech, Inc. opened its doors to first-year Intro to Engineering Design students and third-year Engineering Design and Development students for interactive 3D printing technology presentations and tours of their Vandalia laboratory. The company, owned by 1984 alumnus Ben Staub, also hosted CJ STEMM Gateway Academy campers in June.

At an open house hosted by American Testing Services, second-year Principles of Engineering students were among some of the first to witness the unveiling of “the world’s first open-source production vehicle,” known as the Smartforce Rally Fighter. According to the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the car made its debut at various locations in Ohio and Kentucky in honor of MFG DAY.

“The Smartforce Rally Fighter represents what’s new and exciting in manufacturing. It is high-tech, locally made, crowd-sourced and fuel-efficient,” said AMT President Douglas K. Woods in a news release posted on the organization’s Web site. “The car’s ‘cool factor’ will help persuade students and parents to take a closer look at what manufacturing careers have to offer.”

Students were also treated to inspection demonstrations and tours of the non-destructive testing facility, located on Moraine Drive. Professionals from American Testing Services have continued to be actively involved with CJ students as industry mentors to members of the school’s robotics teams.

Students were accompanied on their MFG Day field trips by CJ engineering teachers Andy Helms, Bob Young and CJ STEMM Coordinator Meg Draeger. More than 800 MFG DAY events were planned at locations across the country according to www.mfgday.com.