As part of St. Brendan High School’s mission focused on the holistic development of the individual student, the STEM and Medical Sciences Academies recently traveled to Washington, DC, for two unique learning experiences in an effort to help students become college and career ready.
Sabre STEM students attended the fourth annual USA Science and Engineering Festival, which provided them with hands-on STEM activities, the latest innovation in robotics, and the opportunity to speak to representatives from STEM college programs and corporations.
STEM Academy co-director Aileen Escarpio said the trip, “provides students with learning opportunities beyond the four walls of the classroom and allows them to interact with other students who share their passion for STEM.”
The STEM group also toured The Catholic University of America with Tau Beta Pi (Engineering Honor Society) president Ben Pesante, who gave them insight about his experience studying Biomedical Engineering and the advantage of attending a Catholic university.
The STEM students also played tourist by visiting the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Capitol Building, Ford’s Theatre, and The White House.
Medical Sciences Academy students were able to tour the National Institutes of Health Medical Center and a couple of its research labs. The students also were able to listen to a short panel of post-baccalaureate students and medical school students on how to choose a major in college that will help prepare them for medical school, applying to medical school, and the importance of research in medicine.
The entire experience was made possible by Elizabeth Jordan, an alumna of St. Brendan, Class of 2011, who has been working in a genomics research lab for the past year before attending the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Students also were given a tour of George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences where they witnessed the intricacies of an actual medical school in practice.
The students were able to do some sightseeing. They visited the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as well as the National Museum of Health and Medicine. They saw the Capitol Building, the White House and even visited the National Zoological Park before heading home.
“I am so pleased with the experience that we were able to provide our students and hope it was able to inspire their pursuit of a career in the medical field,” said Vicky Chacon, director of the Medical Sciences Academy.
Although the STEM and Medical Sciences Academy students experienced Washington, DC, in different ways, they attended Mass as a school at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and spent some time seeing the artwork and architecture that makes the Basilica a site of many Catholic pilgrimages. The students also united as they visited the historic monuments of the city during a nighttime tour.