Influencing future medical device innovators and biomedical industry leaders

Through Project ENGAGES, a select group of high school students experience the biomedical community and the full view of the medical product pathway: from bench to bedside.

On July 12th, GCMI and its subsidiary T3 Labs, hosted 30 high school students who are a part of Project ENGAGES- a year long program for high school juniors and seniors, designed to inspire teens to aspire to a life of wider possibilities. Through the program’s partnership between Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Public School system, selected teens are exposed to science and technology through real world, hands on research projects and diverse career path possibilities in engineering and science. The program, which started in 2013 has ongoing partnerships with 6 inner city Atlanta high schools. Graduates from Project  ENGAGES have gone on to attend  Stanford, Notre Dame, John Hopkins University, Duke, and Dartmouth, just to name a few.

When speaking with students who hail from underserved communities interested in life sciences, you always learn something,” says Dr. Robert Nerem, Institute Professor Emeritus at  Georgia Tech and founder of Project ENGAGES. “The only role model they have had in the medical space is their personal physician. But there are many, many other ways to be involved in the biomedical industry.” That is why Project ENGAGES was born.

Funded by the National Science Foundation Center, local foundations and corporations, and people in the community to raise the awareness of students to the world of engineering, science and technology, the program affords teens a glimpse of careers in medicine beyond the physician’s office.“When we were approached by the Project ENGAGES leadership team, I knew their mission was a perfect fit for the GCMI Education program,” says Kelley Bennett, Program Director of Training and Education at T3 Labs. “We are committed to supporting the biomedical community and believe it is important to invest in our future leaders.”

How Project ENGAGES provides more than a glimpse into life sciences

During their visit  to T3, students visited a variety of stations exposing them to STEM activities. Each station was staffed with professionals from the medical product design, development and preclinical teams of GCMI, which gave the students an opportunity to have one on one discussions about bioscience career paths. The activities included learning to perform simple sutures,understanding 3D printing, and watching the prep for a preclinical testing procedure.

Project ENGAGES knows that a successful educational program should provide students guidance and learning opportunities in practical life skills. The program takes students beyond the classroom and research experience by providing workshops in conflict resolution, time management, financial management along with preparation for the SAT and ACT.

“We want to set these students up for success in life, knowing that their success in school flows from the skills they have outside of the classroom,” says Dr. Nerem. “Many of them would not have access to tools such as SAT prep, financial management guidance, or mentorship from leaders in the biomedical industry if it were not for the community who has invested in them through support of Project ENGAGES.

”GCMI’s involvement with Project ENGAGES exposes students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine in an environment where professionals can take the time to share their roles, responsibilities and passions about careers in Science. Exposure is knowledge and it is never too early to start.”

We look forward to furthering our relationship with Project ENGAGES and introducing the medical device developmental pathway to future cohorts by making this an annual event- so stay tuned! 

If you would like to learn more about Project ENGAGES and ways in which you can be involved, click here for more information. If you are a community leader and would like to learn more about GCMI’s education program or an innovator that would like more information about how GCMI and T3 Labs can partner with you in bringing your novel medtech idea to life, contact us via email at info@devices.net or info@t3labs.org. You can also call (404) 894-5227.