California is proud to be part of the newest PLTW biomedical sciences initiative to develop a biomedical science career pathway as part of a national movement to promote students entering this field. Biomedical Sciences is one of the largest and fastest growing segments of American industry, employing more than 15 million people in a wide range of occupations. The Project Lead the Way® Biomedical Sciences™ program is a high school program divided into four sections, each section building upon the previous. This dynamic program uses hands-on, real- world problems to engage and challenge students. Students interested in math, science, and the human body will find the PLTW Biomedical Sciences™ program a great introduction to the numerous medical fields. It will also teach them how the skills they learn are used in the biomedical sciences. The Biomedical Sciences™ program is integrated into the high school curriculum. It is designed to augment the high school science and math college preparatory programs to establish a solid background in biomedical science.
The PLTW Biomedical Sciences™ program offers high school students a dynamic curriculum that uses real world experience and hands on learning. Students with interest in exploring the variety that medicine offers will find PLTW’s Biomedical Sciences™ program a fantastic doorway to the future of the industry. The program uses a combination of activity-based, project-based and problem-based (APPB) learning styles to engage students. APPB learning doesn’t just create an exciting environment where the possibilities of a medical field come to life, but also teaches students to:
The sequence of high school courses in the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Biomedical Sciences program parallels the proven PLTW Engineering program. The initial program includes four courses, all aligned with appropriate national learning standards:
Students investigate the human body systems and various health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease, hypercholesterolemia, and infectious diseases. They determine the factors that led to the death of a fictional person, and investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, medicine, research processes and bioinformatics. This course is designed to provide an overview of all the courses in the Biomedical Sciences program and lay the scientific foundation for subsequent courses.
Students examine the interactions of body systems as they explore identity, communication, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human body, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal manikin, work through interesting real world cases and often play the role of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries.
Students investigate the variety of interventions involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease as they follow the lives of a fictitious family. The course is a “How-To” manual for maintaining overall health and homeostasis in the body as students explore: how to prevent and fight infection; how to screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; how to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer; and how to prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through these scenarios, students are exposed to the wide range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics. Lifestyle choices and preventive measures are emphasized throughout the course as well as the important roles scientific thinking and engineering design play in the development of interventions of the future.
In this capstone course, students apply their knowledge and skills to answer questions or solve problems related to the biomedical sciences. Students design innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century as they work through progressively challenging open-ended problems, addressing topics such as clinical medicine, physiology, biomedical engineering, and public health. They have the opportunity to work on an independent project and may work with a mentor or advisor from a university, hospital, physician’s office, or industry. Throughout the course, students are expected to present their work to an adult audience that may include representatives from the local business and healthcare community.