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  • About the Program

    As part of the Roanoke County Governor's STEM Academy at BCAT, the Center for Engineering offers a four-year advanced curriculum integrating math, science, and technology as a study of the profession of engineering. The Center’s curriculum focuses on the development of science and mathematics disciplinary content and the use of that knowledge in problem solving through a design-based approach that is the hallmark of the engineering discipline. Students develop technical and analytical skills along with written and oral communcation skills in a collaborative and hands-on learning environment. Students who are not enrolled in Geometry in the 8th grade must take Geometry in summer school before admission or take it as a 9th grader at their base school in addition to Algebra II at the Engineering Center.

    Engineering students at Burton cover such skills as learning Computer Aided Design and manufacturing, 3-D printing and engraving, soldering electirical circuits, designing and building innovative solutions to original ideas or problems, and precision measuring. Additionally, students collaborate in teams to explore multiple disciplines, use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships, and analyze change in various contexts.

    Goals and Objectives:

    • To establish a foundation for the understanding of engineering as a profession;
    • To introduce and cultivate the development of engineering analysis, problem solving, and design skills;
    • To integrate mathematical and scientific concepts into practical engineering applications;
    • To provide individual and group hands-on learning experiences for students;
    • To offer real-world engineering experiences through mentoring/internships in a professional setting.

  • Instructors

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    Ted Wertz

    Started at BCAT in 2022
    Entered the field in 2002
    Began teaching in 2008
    B.S. in Civil Engineering
    U.S. Army 1998-2002


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    Katie Gray

    Started at BCAT in 2017
    Entered the field in 2007
    M.A. Appalachian Studies
    B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies
    Teaching certificate in Math, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Earth Science, History, and Social Science
    Comp TIA A+ Certified
    Microsoft Word Specialist


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    John Hamby

    Started at BCAT in 2023
    Entered the field in 1976
    Entered academics in 2017
    B.S. Engineering Physics

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    Janet Washington

    Started at BCAT in 2001
    Entered the field in 1986
    M.A. Education
    B.S. Mathematics



    Shawn Burns

    Started BCAT in 2015
    Working in Mechatronics since 2007
    B.S. Workforce Education



  • Career Pathways

    Pharmacy Tech


    Engineer (any discipline)

    Aeronautical Engineer

    Economic / Financial Modeling / Forecasting


    Scientist (any discipline)

    Engineering Technician

    CAD Technician

    Electrical Engineer



    Architectural Engineer


  • Additional Application Information
    The Center for Engineering is a specialty center that has additional requirements as part of the application process. For more information about this program's specific application requirements, please visit the Specialty Centers page of the RCPS website: https://www.rcps.us/Domain/1484