A Letter from the VCMS Principal – April 2022

2022 Women in STEM Day Information 

On Wednesday, March 30, Valley Catholic Middle School students participated in the first Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) day. 32 women from STEM-related fields  provided presentations and interactive learning opportunities for all our middle schoolers. 

Representatives from OMSI, OHSU, Google, Nike, Intel, Tektronix, Vernier, OSU, and Warner Bros. were on hand as well as women from several local industries who showed students how elements of STEM exist in their careers. In all, students witnessed how their classroom lessons are applied across industries, such as biology and environmental studies, sustainability and agriculture, directing non-profit organizations, winemaking, film production, photography, sports, real estate  and even law.  

A big thank you to all our presenters and a special thank you to our alumni presenters:

  • Mariel Zagunis ’03 – Fencing and STEM
  • Rachel Smith ’87 – Photography as a STEM profession
  • Jamie Tuss ’04 – Big10 Official – Communications and Video Production
  • Brigid Poling ’07 – Molecular Virology
  • Jesyca Durchin Shnepp ’87 – Disney Imagineer and Wonder Woman game producer
  • Anarghya Vardhana ’02 – Venture capitalist investments in health care
  • Maria Ramirez ’11 – Project controls consulting
  • Caitlin Blood ’02 (middle school) – Sustainability in agriculture

The full list of the presentation summaries can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17ckC0kPBMetH5i2K2EPbdBePJYtmdDhbODhKPVcar5k/edit# .

Check out KGW’s coverage of our Women in STEM event: https://www.kgw.com/article/news/education/women-in-stem-valley-catholic-science-technology-engineering-math/283-8fdb171b-d929-41b0-8078-3a97263e3f99

The Women in STEM day was made possible through the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation STEM grant.

About Valley Catholic Middle School’s STEM Certification

Four years ago, Valley Catholic Middle School became the first school in the Pacific Northwest to be certified as an AdvancED (Cognia) STEM Certified School. The STEM certification recognizes that Valley Catholic Middle School’s program provides students the ability to be innovative, creative and systematic problem-solvers across disciplines.

Valley Catholic Middle School’s STEM program includes opportunities for all students to engage in project-based, hands on learning, participate in student-directed lessons, showcase communication and presentation skills, and make connections to the real world through community partnerships. 

In order to earn the international STEM Certification, Valley Catholic Middle School had to demonstrate adherence to the AdvancED (Cognia) STEM Standards as reflected by the school’s performance across 11 rigorous STEM Indicators.

Jennifer Gfroerer