Lansdale Catholic High School, a leader in the region over the past decade for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) studies, with 80% of the top students of the Class of 2014 choosing a STEM major in higher education, hosted its first STEM Career Fair featuring a keynote address by former NASA Astronaut, Captain Christopher Ferguson, USN.
The evening began with the keynote speaker. Capt. Ferguson graduated from: Archbishop Ryan High School in 1979; Drexel University in 1984 and the Naval Postgraduate School in 1991. He has been awarded the following: Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Strike/Flight Air Medal, NASA Spaceflight Medals, Navy Commendation Medals, Navy Achievement Medal and various other service awards/citations. Capt. Ferguson has served as spacecraft pilot/commander for the Space Shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour. He has logged more than 40 days in space. From November 2009 to September 2010, he served as deputy chief of the Astronaut Office. Ferguson retired from the Navy in June 2010 and from NASA in December 2011. He is the parent of Ian Ferguson, a 2014 graduate of Lansdale Catholic.
Captain Ferguson’s keynote address was followed by three breakout sessions with three presenters each in nine classrooms. The level of STEM professionals in various fields provided an excellent opportunity for students to realize the diversity and expansive careers available in STEM. Some of the job titles of these professionals included: Systems Engineer; Technology Supervisor; Lead Engineer; Director of Safety and Exploratory Pharmacology; Systems Biology Modeler; Clinical Scientist; Nurse Practitioner; Neonatologist; Nephrologist/Physician; and Clinical Scientist to name just a few. They are employed in various firms such as: Merck Pharmaceuticals; ASI Technologies; GlaxoSmithKline; Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Lockheed Martin.
Over 400 Lansdale Catholic students registered and had the opportunity to meet with the presenters in a networking session after the three panel sessions were completed. In addition, they were able to speak with college guidance counselors regarding STEM majors at various colleges and universities.
Lansdale Catholic is preparing its students for the demands of the global marketplace by presenting a trans-disciplinary STEM program. Encouraging logical thinking, problem solving and innovative design will place Lansdale Catholic students at the forefront of the technology driven world.
Lansdale Catholic High School is a secondary school of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Over $100 million in grants and scholarships for higher education were awarded to members of the last seven graduating classes, 2008 through 2014. The school serves a student population that resides in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, 17 school districts and 28 parish communities.