TJHSST Students Participate in Lab Sessions with Engineering Tomorrow

School News
January 19, 2021

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) partnered with Engineering Tomorrow, a national STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) nonprofit, to bring one of Engineering Tomorrow’s free real-world, hands-on STEM labs on Phototherapy into their classroom with a focus on:

  • facts and data-driven results,
  • process skills,
  • root cause meality,
  • being detailed oriented, and
  • execution focus. 

The hybrid lab used a vertical education approach for freshman biology, English, and technology students. William Woodburn, the founder of Engineering Tomorrow and a founding partner of Global Infrastructure Partners, led approximately 80 TJHSST students through the phototherapy lab, which he authored and patented. (His patent is presently in clinical trials at Georgetown University). They combined the engineering design process with the scientific method to innovate and research a personal problem into studying and completing the Engineering Tomorrow project labs. The students experienced three lab sessions with Woodburn: an introduction, a question and answer session, and a wrap-up of their phototherapy lab. The question and answer session focused on the lab project, the patent process, and Woodburn’s phototherapy patent. Students received feedback from engineers and university engineering students on their strategies and approaches to the lab experiment. Engineering Tomorrow college mentors and FCPS alumni Sarah Syed and Zandy Wong—currently engineering students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University, respectively—provided a perspective on what it is like studying engineering at the university level and why they pursue STEM. Overall, students came out more confident and more interested in STEM and engineering than before. One student even said, “I learned that you can solve any solution (like Grover's Disease) by using the engineering process and thinking outside of the box.” Engineering Tomorrow is committed to continuing STEM outreach during the pandemic; they have ten free hybrid labs available to high school students anywhere. For more information about Engineering Tomorrow, contact Constance Chiplock at constance.chiplock@engineeringtomorrow.org. Contact Mike Roth at mbroth@fcps.edu.