Milwaukee, WI (April 16, 2018): St. Thomas More High School will hold its annual Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Showcase Night on April 26 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the school’s Learning Commons. At this event, students will present the findings of their self-directed, course-long research projects. Parents, students, alumni, and other members of the community are invited to attend this free event.
At this year’s PLTW Showcase Night, 18 student research teams, comprised of 40 students in St. Thomas More’s biomedical science and engineering capstone courses, will share the results of their research with an audience of their mentors, classmates, parents, and teachers. After each team has presented, guests can then ask questions to each team individually, learning more about their project, academic interests, and future plans.
“PLTW Showcase Night gives students a chance to present solutions to the real-world problems they have been exploring all year,” principal Nicholas Kelly explained. “These extensive, collegial research projects require incredible persistence, creativity, and determination, and I am amazed by what our students have produced.”
Throughout these capstone courses, each student research group collaborates with mentors from local businesses, universities, hospitals, or other organizations. These mentors assist students with organization, planning, and scope of their project while providing unique insight into their profession. This year’s mentors include employees at Froedtert Hospital, Abbott Laboratories, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Discovery World, City of Milwaukee Attorney’s Office, Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee Catholic Home, March of Dimes, Roman Electric, and more.
These projects represent the culmination of St. Thomas More’s PLTW Biomedical Science and Engineering capstone courses: Engineering Design & Development and Biomedical Innovations. In these capstone courses, students apply what they learned in previous classes to investigate challenging, open-ended problems that affect their community. Students first review existing research on their topic and plan their own project to expand on this knowledge. While developing their projects, teams exchange constructive criticism and consultation with their peers, mentors, and instructor. At the end of the course, teams present their research at PLTW Showcase Night.
“The project-, problem-, and inquiry-based learning utilized in these courses not only prepares students for high-demand careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine,” Biomedical Innovations teacher Kathy Stelling said, “but also provides students with valuable skills that are useful in any career field. Students learn how to be self-sufficient, work productively with a team, and deliver knowledge to others through engaging presentations.”