AET Prepares Students for Life After High School

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AET Prepares Students for Life After High School

A firsthand look at the new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program based in Loudoun County, providing students with advanced education for up and coming fields.

Academy of Engineering and Technology is a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics program new to Loudoun County which specializes in Engineering, Information Technology, and Entrepreneurship. Several students from Potomac Falls, including sophomores Lauren Forcey and Tanvi Thatai, attend AET and use this opportunity to expand their minds.

Thatai is currently enrolled in Integrated Science II, Integrated Math II, and Entrepreneurship II.

“This program is more advanced [than regular high school curriculum], so I’m more challenged. I also get to participate in courses that aren’t available at PFHS that discuss real world workplace skills,” said Thatai.

Because the curriculum is completely STEM based, after senior year they will be prepared to enter a Computer Science, or Engineering program at any college. Students that are on the entrepreneurial pathway learn the skills needed to start a business.

“I was more interested in the entrepreneurship aspect this school brought because I want to create a music school when I grow up. To do that, I realized that I had to learn about business,” said Thatai.

Unlike Thatai, Forcey is still on the fence about what she wants to pursue in the future. However, AET will help her develop creative and enterprising capacities and engage in engineering as well as research. With this previous knowledge, Forcey will have a leg up in her education when pursuing the field of study, she chooses.

“In the past two years, I’ve wanted to go into Finance, Physical Therapy, and Veterinary Science, but after taking more math and science classes, I think I want to go into Chemical or Aerospace Engineering,” said Forcey.

Both students had to apply to this Academy by completing a multiple-choice test and an essay, in the middle of their eighth-grade year.

Attending every B-day, Forcey and Thatai must balance their work from both schools. Taking more advanced classes like Entrepreneurship II and other higher levels of math and science, there is a larger workload.

“Typically, it’s not too bad for me, just because the homework for AET is either to study for an upcoming test, or to complete a bigger project that takes weeks or even months. This allows me to create a schedule so I’m not too overloaded at one time,” said Forcey.

Both Thatai and Forcey will be a part of the first graduating class of AET, and will hopefully carry on the unique and advanced STEM knowledge this Academy has offered them.

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