District receives STEM grant at inaugural student competition

White Bear Lake Area High School students Ashley Rensted, Quentin Sommers, Charlie Rupprecht,  Harrison Fischer and Evan Hakamaki represented the district at the American Heart Association’s Advancing Science inaugural grant competition at Target Field Feb. 27.

WHITE BEAR LAKE — Career pathways students recently helped the district receive a $1,000 grant that will go toward developing the district's first aid and CPR instruction. 

Five South Campus students presented their work at the Advancing Sciences grant competition hosted by the American Heart Association (AHA) at Target Field Feb. 27. Students showcased a robot and virtual welder, said Jenny Moore, career pathways navigator. They also explained the district's career pathways program, which includes classes leading to further education or careers in construction, health care, IT or manufacturing.

White Bear students competed against 13 other schools for top prizes up to $10,000; they received a $1,000 participation prize. The district had to apply and be accepted to even enter the competition, Moore said. It was an inaugural competition relating to high school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) projects, hosted by AHA. 

The district will use the $1,000 grant to adapt AHA curriculum to its first aid and CPR instruction “so all students at our school have the opportunity to be first aid- and CPR-certified with the American Heart Association,” Moore said.

White Bear students interested in STEM careers volunteered to participate in the event. Students also had the opportunity to mingle with representatives from leading companies in the area — places like Medtronic, 3M and Abbott. Students even learned how to make a simulated pacemaker. A panel discussion on trends in Minnesota health care was also held. 

“In order to propel critical medical breakthroughs, students in Minnesota need opportunities to explore and advance in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. By empowering students to take a seat at the table with life-science leaders, we’re helping build the next generation of innovators,” stated the AHA. 

Professional attendees at the event voted on student displays for the top prizes. 

For more information on the Advancing Sciences event, visit www.advancingsciences.org. The event was sponsored locally by Medtronic. The grants to area schools were sponsored by Boston Scientific. Additional sponsors include Abbott, 3M, APS, Experis Engineering, Keyot and more.

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