WARWICK – Twenty students from the Davies Career and Technical High School biotechnology program attended the state’s first Bioscience Job Shadow Day on Dec. 9 for a hands-on look inside the medical device industry.
The event, hosted at C.R. Bard’s Davol facility in Warwick, was held in partnership with Tech Collective and youth community organization Junior Achievement of Rhode Island.
Led by Tom Hutchinson, Davol’s vice president of regulatory affairs, the students visited Davol’s product-design and prototype-development departments to learn about the company’s 3-D-printed prototyping, and explored Davol’s medical mesh fixation devices in the R&D testing and engineering labs.
“Today was a great day for Davol,” said Hutchinson. “Our employees were eager to educate and encourage the students, providing a bridge between their classroom today and their careers in the future. Industry interest in supporting education programs, such as those conducted by Tech Collective, is not only a critical means to developing our future scientists, engineers, medical workers and technicians, but also in advancing Rhode Island economically to become more competitive in the current and future marketplace.”
Career shadowing and other experiential learning opportunities have increasingly gained traction as an educational imperative, and have been identified as critical turning points for students in terms of their interest in technical careers. For the past five years, Junior Achievement of Rhode Island and Tech Collective have partnered to connect students with career shadow opportunities in the IT field, but this is the first year they have hosted a bioscience opportunity – the first Bioscience Job Shadow Day to be held in Rhode Island.
“Engaging students at the middle and high school levels is critical to not only raising students’ industry awareness and interest, but also building their self-confidence that they can pursue careers in these fields,” said JoAnn Johnson, manager of education programs at Tech Collective. “With Junior Achievement as our partner over the years, we’ve been able to connect hundreds of students to IT learning opportunities. Today, we are proud to be able to offer those opportunities in the biosciences. It is an important step for our students and for our industry as we continue to foster our upcoming generation in the bioscience and STEM fields.”
Davol, first founded as a rubber company in 1874, is today among the oldest U.S. manufacturers of medical supplies and devices. Davol’s current product lines focus on soft-tissue reconstruction. Davol is a wholly owned subsidiary of C.R. Bard Inc.