Opening a Gateway to STEMM Education

Kids from across the Miami Valley spent a week of summer at Chaminade Julienne High School building giant Nanotube structures in the science lab, working with space science and remote sensing software, designing prosthetic arms and experimenting with DNA crime scene investigation techniques at the third annual CJ STEMM Summer Gateway Academy.

Students entering grades seven through nine at 18 local middle and high schools rubbed elbows with Dayton-area professionals July 11-15, getting hands-on in the career fields of science, technology, engineering, math and medicine through demonstrations, activities, field trips and service projects with local institutions including Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Riverside Research, Buckeye Composites, and Fidelity Orthopedic.

“The week’s activities are meant to spark excitement in our campers by giving them opportunities to see up close the real-life implications of careers in these fields from professionals who work right here in Dayton,” said Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator and camp organizer. Draeger along with Linda Hallinan, math and science teacher at Holy Angels Elementary school, and Amy O’Loughlin, CJ Project Lead the Way teacher and science department co-chair, helped supervise and lead activities throughout the week.

“The field trips were informative and we did a lot of fun projects,” said Eren Gavin, a graduate of Our Lady of the Rosary School who will attend CJ as a ninth grader in August. Campers enjoyed two afternoons on guided tours inside Norwood Medical and the Wright Brothers Institute Tec^Edge Discovery Lab northeast of the CJ campus.

“The trip to Norwood Medical was the best,” Gavin said, enthusiastically explaining a lesson the group learned about “harmonic tools,” which are designed and produced by the company in Old North Dayton to assist in reducing bleeding caused by incisions made during surgery. The incoming freshmen stated he has already enrolled in the first semester class Principles of Biomedical Science and looks forward to discovering more about the medical field in high school.

Chaminade Julienne has offered Biomedical Sciences and Engineering courses since 2008 in partnership with Project Lead the Way (PLTW), and in the spring of 2011 became the first Catholic high school in the nation—and one of just four secondary schools in all of Ohio—dually certified by the non-profit organization to provide both its innovative STEM courses. (Learn more about CJ's national PLTW certification.)

“Our aim is to inspire students with an interest in these fields to seek ways to serve their community by equipping them with the talent, skill and desire to make a difference beyond this one week of camp,” said Draeger.