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Biomedical Pathway Celebration Highlights Student Internships

Biomedical Pathway Celebration Highlights Student Internships


For the third year in a row, 12th grade students in the Biomedical Pathway program (one of three career pathways currently offered at BHHS) culminated their senior year with an impressive display of presentations, demonstrating their passion for and knowledge of individual topics within their year-long internships in our local medical community. A total of 22 seniors shared their presentations with family members, mentors, and members of the school community. “It’s a career-investigation project where they devise their own research question, and they work with a mentor to answer that research question in the field of their choice,” shared Dr. Noelle Collis, one of the teachers of this unique set of Biomedical Pathway courses. Students in the Biomedical Pathway classes explore many medical professional fields during 11th grade; then, in 12th grade, they choose and work with their mentors from the beginning of senior year until April. Students develop their research questions alongside their mentors during the internships, develop studies and projects, and finally share their findings in research papers and presentations.

David Brazle, BHHS math teacher who works with the Biomedical Pathway students on the math and statistics components, explained, “Students are living in a world that is fast paced, and encourages sound bites and a 30-second attention span. This pathway runs counter to that. What I love about this program is that we ask them to slow down and do a deep dive into research for a prolonged period of time. During both years of the program, students are asked to take part in deep learning and research. Over the course of the whole year they read and analyze published research about what has already been learned and spend time thinking about how they will add to this body of research. Beyond this, students get time out of the classroom, getting exposure and experience in the career paths they are interested in. Some finish the pathway and have further confirmation of what they want to study next. And just as good, others have decided that this pathway is not for them and are excited to take a different direction.” Terri Thav, BHHS English teacher, adds, “Those who take the Biomedical pathways course walk away with more than just clinical experience and a better understanding of research skills and data collection. They learn to write in an entirely different style, one that may be more useful to them as they pursue a career in science."

Several students reflected on the value of the class, and how it has impacted their future plans. Demetra Bicos shared, “I took this class because I wasn’t exactly sure whether I wanted to go into a medical field. It really solidified me wanting to go into a medical field, pursue that career, and study it in college. I’m going to study Neuroscience in college, and this project has really helped me with that. My project was on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.” Hamzah Ahmed noted, “Biomedical Pathways was great. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue a medical field or a science field in general, but after taking two years of this course, it reassured me that I want to pursue a medical field.” Allie Tepper reflected, “I already had a mindset that I wanted to go into something which involved helping people, and I thought back on my own personal history with all my injuries. I feel that without physical therapy, I wouldn't be able to walk and do the things that I love. So I decided to seek out an internship in physical therapy. Through being there every week and seeing how it impacted people, I decided that’s what I wanted to study for next year, and for my life!”

Students explored unique and powerful inquiries on their pathway journeys. Sakina Bhinderwala shared, “My research question was on how different pathways impact heart diseases or illnesses in women, specifically after menopause. I picked this topic because when I was researching, I found out that women have a higher rate of heart disease and illnesses than men do. I thought it would be interesting if I went a bit deeper and went into the menopause aspect of it. It was interesting to see the different factors that contributed to it, like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and pregnancy.”

The class helped to formulate strong bonds among the students and their school community. Christine Balde reflected, “I think the Biomedical Pathway is just such a wonderful opportunity, not only academically, but because of the experience and the kindredship that you form with your classmates; you spend four classes across two years with them, so it’s a lot of time. It’s a relatively small class, and the teachers care so much. It was a huge success and I’m very glad to be a part of it!” And students appreciated the aggregate of their work: Joshua Novak said, “It is a lot of work, but in the end, this presentation is pretty nice!” Congratulations to all the Biomedical Pathway students, their teachers, and their mentors for a successful year of internships and projects!