Students Showcase Career and Technical Education and STEM to Congress

Photo of two students in lab coats describe their biomedical program to Mark Mitsui from OCTAE while standing in front of their exhibit table.

Students from Washington County Technical High School, Maryland, explain their biomedical program to OCTAE Deputy Assistant Secretary, Mark Mitsui.

Students from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia demonstrated the role of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and STEM in preparing students for college and careers. The event was co-hosted by the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and the Senate CTE Caucus. OCTAE attended the event which was held in a science fair-style format and provided an opportunity for students to explain their work and how it has prepared them for their future as professionals. Exhibits featured advanced technical skills in biosciences and robotics to engineering and computer programming, as well as employability skills, such as teamwork, critical thinking and creative problem solving that students are obtaining through their programs.

Dr. Brown is pictured standing with a small group of students, one of which is in a lab coat.

Dr. Steve Brown, OCTAE, asks PTLW students how their experiences in CTE prepared them for their goals after high school.

Mark Mitsui, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges, OCTAE, at the US Department of Education comments, “I was impressed by the deep understanding the students had of these complex subject areas and by their creative application of this understanding to solving important challenges facing our nation.”

Isabel Soto, Confidential Assistant in OCTAE goes on to say, “I admired the level of knowledge each of the students displayed in their particular STEM field. The students shared that their engineering courses have allowed them to better understand their instructional practices in language arts, math, and science courses. I also found all of the students to be remarkably motivated; each of them had a well-established plan to pursue a higher education and inspiring career goals.”

Posted by
Robin A. Utz, Branch Chief College and Career Transitions, Division of Academic and Technical Education (DATE)