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TJHSST Partners with Engineering Tomorrow and Mr. William Woodburn to Provide STEM labs for Students

January 11, 2021

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology partnered with Engineering Tomorrow, a national STEM 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 mentality
- being detailed oriented
- execution focus

The hybrid lab used a vertical education approach for freshman biology, English, and technology students. Mr. William Woodburn, the Founder of Engineering Tomorrow and a founding partner of Global Infrastructure Partners, led the TJ students (approximately 80 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 Mr. 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 Mr. Woodburn’s phototherapy patent.

The students received feedback from engineers and university engineering students on their strategies and approaches to the lab experiment. Engineering Tomorrow college mentors and FCPS alum Sarah Syed and Zandy Wong, currently engineering students from MIT and Johns Hopkins 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, please contact Constance Chiplock at