High school science students are investigating biomedical sciences in class, and exploring future careers as part of their course work.
At Paynesville High School in Minnesota, two science classes are introducing students to a variety of health careers, from morgue assistant to nursing.
The classroom where Jesse Rasmussen teaches science looks much like a traditional high school science lab. It has lab tables, lab coats, goggles, DNA models, an emergency eye-washing station, and even Skelly the Skeleton.
But beyond the usual science activities, there’s a lot more going on. Students are growing bacteria, reading X-rays, and measuring heartbeat and blood pressure. These activities are usually performed in a medical lab, not a high school classroom. The students here are investigating a variety of health and science careers as part of their regular studies, learning as they go.
Project Lead the Way is working with the school to offer students an opportunity to develop real world problem solving skills in two biomedical classes. The national nonprofit helps students by developing curriculum and resources which apply to fields that are in demand.
Healthcare jobs are predicted by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics to grow nearly 20 percent by 2024. This rate of growth is faster than other occupations, adding 2.3 million new jobs.
“Both of these classes are based around real-life connection, real-life things that actual people are doing in the profession, right now,” Rasmussen said. “Project Lead the Way believes in learning by doing, so it’s a lot more hands-on activities rather than memorizing stuff out of a textbook.”