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A 4 Sherman Publications, Inc. Progress Edition 2016

Designing and building a prosthetic hand that actually works. Rubbing elbows with designers and engineers at the North Ameri- can Auto Show. Flying stealth drone mis- sions and capturing footage heretofore deemed unattainable. To many, that sounds like the making of a ‘Bucket List.’ To Brandon High School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) students, it’s just part of their regular hands-on learning in the popular pro- gram now in its seventh year. “We get to take some amazing field trips where we get to experience what we have learned in the classroom in a different set- ting,” said BHS sophomore Emily Davis, who had just returned from a visit to Oak- land University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science. “The prosthetic hand activity was awesome.” According to Brandon’s Career and

Technical Education (CTE) director Eric Lott, Brandon High School’s STEM pro- gram is unique. “We are one of 22 programs in the state certified as CTE compliant,” Lott said. “Our curriculum is aligned with state standards and a team of engineers reviews our ma- terial to make sure the students are receiv- ing a program that matches current indus-

Brandon 2025 takes aim at the future with an eye on today

The statistics surrounding STEM gradu- ates are well known, as STEM job oppor- tunities are expected to continue to grow faster than jobs in other sectors and STEM jobs tend to pay higher salaries than jobs in other fields.

But that doesn’t seem to be why so many Brandon students are enrolled in the program.

“The teachers bring some real world expertise to our classes,” said sophomore Morgan Ross. “They’ve worked in vari- ous industries and do a nice job of sharing their experiences with us.”

As for the future of the STEM pro- gram at Brandon? Superintendent Dr. Matt Outlaw sees bigger things ahead. “We have a gem of a program here,

From left, Joe Prentice, Kalin MacQueen, Jakob Sulisz, and Ian Ladd. Bran- don High School STEM students.

try practices.”

The results are impressive, as the STEM program has grown every year. According to technology instructor Patti Dzabanski, this is the biggest it has ever been.

“Our kids are great,” she added. “And

next year, for the first time, we will have a senior-year Capstone class for the students to complete a STEM project of their choos- ing, explore STEM careers, and spend their last year in high school with their STEM family.”

and it’s something we want to continue to grow,” he said. “We field calls from fami- lies and schools in other districts wanting to know more about the program, and any- body who has been a part of it knows how special it is. It is a key component of the continued success of our students.” For more information about the STEM program and how it may be right for your family, visit or

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