Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Arizona expands its Project Lead the Way (PTLW) Certified Biomedical Sciences Program. The program provides students opportunities to experience real-world challenges before they even graduate from high school.
Working with the same tools used by professionals in hospitals and labs, students engage in compelling hands-on activities and work together to find solutions to problems.
Students take from the courses in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.
Kim Rodgers, the class instructor, stated
“This is our fifth year of the program and it is continuing to grow. We now have 150 students enrolled which incorporates all grade levels. I would like to see more students complete the full four year program and have the opportunity to develop more community partnerships Hopefully, this will aide in the offering of internships for students so they can better prepare for college and more competitive professions.”
In the introductory course of the PLTW Biomedical Sciences program, students explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person.
While investigating the case, students examine autopsy reports, investigate medical history and explore medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life.
The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, basic anatomy, medicine, and research processes while allowing them to design their own experiments to solve problems.
Rodgers has been working with the Glendale Police Department by inviting the campus SRO, Sargent Scott Waite and police detective Mark Coyle to come and speak to her students about the procedures involved when assessing a crime scene.
Then the students had a chance to gain some hands-on experience by rotating through stations where they could analyze the evidence given at the crime scene.
Students were able to collect blood samples, hair samples, run comparisons of fingerprints, analyze DNA, and run field tests to determine if drugs were involved in the crime.
Senior student, Aaron Combs is in his fourth year of the program. Combs stated,
“Each year has a different focus and because of this he now is very interested in the field. The biomedical program allows someone to experience the field even if they are not initially interested, but once in the program they will gain something out of it. Mountain Ridge High School is the only school in the Deer Valley Unified School District that offers this program.”
By allowing students the opportunity to use problem project-based learning, collaborate with their peers, integrate technology, and apply real-world situations, Mountain Ridge students are better prepared to excel in a competitive global arena after they graduate.
The school is located at 22800 N. 67th Avenue in Glendale. To find out more about this extraordinary school, visit the website