FWBHS Biomedical Sciences Students Exceed National Average in EOC Assessment

June 9, 2014 – Students enrolled in Fort Walton Beach High School’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Sciences Program took their National End of Course Assessment last week and exceeded the national average.  The test is scored on a scale of 1-9, with a five being the national average.  Scores 1-3 are considered below average, 4-6 average, and 7-9 above average.  

“In order to advance to the next level of the program a student is required to earn a score of four or higher,” said Devon E. Stewart, M.Ed., Project Lead the Way Biomedical Sciences & Chemistry I Teacher.  “We are proud to announce that our students exceeded the national average!”

The PLTW Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Program is a sequence of courses, all aligned with appropriate national learning standards, which follows a proven hands-on, real-world problem-solving approach to learning. Students explore the concepts of human medicine and are introduced to topics such as physiology, genetics, microbiology and public health.  Through activities, like dissecting a heart, students examine the processes, structures and interactions of the human body – often playing the role of biomedical professionals.  They also explore the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, working collaboratively to investigate and design innovative solutions to the health challenges of the 21st century such as fighting cancer with nanotechnology.

Throughout BMS, students acquire strong teamwork and communication practices, and develop organizational, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills.  Along the way students investigate a variety of careers in biomedical sciences.  BMS courses complement traditional science courses and can serve as the foundation for STEM-centered or specialized academies. The program is designed to prepare students to pursue a post-secondary education and careers in the biomedical sciences.

Students in the Year 1 Principles of the Biomedical Sciences course had an average score of 7, with 100% of our students scoring a 4 or higher.

In Principles of the Biomedical Sciences (PBS), students investigate 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, and research processes.  This course provides an overview of all the courses in the Biomedical Sciences program and lay the scientific foundation for subsequent courses.  This course is designed for 9th grade students.

Students in the Year 2 Human Body Systems course had an average score of 5.8, with 89% of our students scoring a 4 or higher.

In Human Body Systems (HBS), students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, 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 roles of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries.  This course is designed for 10th grade students.

Students in the Year 3 Medical Intervention course had an average score of 5.6, with 79% of our students scoring a 4 or higher.

In Medical Interventions (MI), students investigate a variety of interventions involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease as they follow the life of a fictitious family.  The course is a “How-To” manual for maintaining overall health and homeostasis in the body.  Students explore how to prevent and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; prevent, diagnose and treat cancer; and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail.  Through these scenarios, students are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics. This course is designed for 11th grade students.

The fourth year program students in Biomedical Innovations, took the Biotechnician Assistant Credentialing Exam (BACE) offered by Biotility at the University of Florida.  

In Biomedical Innovation (BI), students design innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century.  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 with a mentor or advisor from a university, hospital, research institution, or the biomedical industry.  Throughout the course, students are expected to present their work to an audience of STEM professionals.  This course is designed for 12th grade students.

“We are proud to announce that seven members of our first graduating class of the Biomedical Sciences Program earned their Biotechnician Assistant Certificates!  Congratulations Kerri Andre, Peyton Jimmerson, Caroline Lathi, Megan Makela, Katelyn Moore, Rebekah Stepp, and Natalie Vaughn,” stated Stewart.

Students in the Biomedical Sciences Program may also qualify to earn college credit from the following universities, upon successful completion of the BMS curriculum and satisfaction of individual university requirements:

  • University of West Florida
  • Missouri University of Science & Technology
  • Stevenson University
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

If you are a medical/health care professional that would like to volunteer your time as a speaker or mentor in one of our biomedical courses or are interested in donating consumable lab supplies, please email Devon Stewart at StewartD@mail.okaloosa.k12.fl.us.

To learn more about the Biomedical Sciences program at Fort Walton Beach High School, visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fwbhsbiomed and on the web at http://www.okaloosaschools.com/fwb/?q=stewartd/biomed.