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Blaine High School CEMS program celebrates senior capstone projects

five women posing with project(05/26/2023) Seniors in the Center for Engineering, Mathematics and Science (CEMS) program at Blaine High School (BHS) presented their capstone projects on May 18. 

The annual event celebrated a total of 119 students who were in 25 groups. The teams took turns on the auditorium stage to present their capstone projects to BHS staff, students, mentors from the community and families. The students then went to the cafeteria where projects were on display to allow them to demonstrate their prototypes and answer questions. Seniors were also honored with a CEMS medal. View photos from the event

At the beginning of the year, teams were able to choose any problem they wanted to solve and many found inspiration in their after school jobs and activities. After finding a problem, the teams worked through the engineering design process - conducting research, designing a solution and building a prototype. Finally, the teams tested their projects and prepared for the capstone event.

The projects had a wide range of focus and functionality like the zebra mussel flusher; a way to keep food at a safe temperature for hours without an outlet; preserving the hearing of dogs that work in the professional world and are consistently exposed to loud noises; and avoiding fires due to accidents with candles with a device that would extinguish the flame after a certain amount of time determined by the user. 

Abisade Kotila was a member of the team ‘Direct Detect’ who worked on a prototype for a pulse oximeter that would be able to detect skin pigmentation, so people of color would have more accurate reads and avoid an inaccurate health diagnosis. The other group members consisted of Serenity Pha, Edna Sahal, Jada Shuman and Jayda Zuchowski. 

“I learned in CEMS that there will be times where you will be outside your comfort zone,” Kotila said. “I also learned about teamwork and within teamwork, communication is really key. We had all sorts of elements, designs, prototypes and without communication our group wouldn’t have been as successful as we were this evening.”

Kotila will be attending Penn State University in the fall to study political science. 

Benjamin Stout was a member of ‘Spoon Hero’ with Ikhlas Addow, Ethan Henry, Nathan Luong and Nicholas Reither. The group worked on a spoon prototype that would help elderly people who suffer from Parkinson's disease or essential tremors with eating. The goal was for the device to steady the spoon so when their hands shake, they can still successfully get the food to their months and not get frustrated with the process. 

“It was a great project for learning the systems of engineering, like coding, assembling, manufacturing and 3D modeling,” Stout said. “The CEMS program was a great way to get a head start on what I’m passionate about. I really enjoyed engineering as a kid and being a part of the CEMS program was a nice way to feel fulfilled with my time in high school.”

Stout is headed to Michigan Technical University to study electrical and software engineering.

The students can earn a scholar or high scholar CEMS graduation status. The designation is based on meeting program requirements and the students who earned high scholar took extra Project Lead the Way courses throughout their time in the CEMS Program. 

To learn more about the program, visit