District Adds Four New Medical Courses

By Brianna Morgan

Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, all high schools in FHSD will implement a brand new four-year program that is part of Project Lead the Way Biomedical Sciences. It will do so by integrating one of the four classes that formulate the four-course program each school year. The new program will allow kids who have expressed interest in a career in the medical field to explore their options and get hands-on experience and time with professionals.

“The thing I’m most excited about is the opportunity for kids to really jump in and to get to work with those hands-on, real world problems,” FHSD Director of Student Learning Chris Greiner said. “Those are the types of things they are going to pursue a career in biomedical sciences for, so those are the types of issues they are going to be tackling.”

The decision to introduce the new program was decided after receiving the results from the survey that is always sent out to the alumni two years after they graduate asking what courses they wish would have been offered to them in high school. One of the most popular topics that arose in the survey was that they would have liked to have been able to take more courses revolving around the medical science field.

The District officials started visiting other schools that already had the program in place, such as the Wentzville, Afton and Hazelwood school districts and talked to different students and teachers and gathered information on how their programs work.

After doing this, the District officials were able to see all of the different features of the other schools’ programs and decide what aspects they thought could be used in the new program for FHSD and also see what changes were going to need to be made to better suit the specific needs of FHSD.

The only change that was made was that students will be required to have either have taken or be concurrently enrolled in biology due to the fact that the biomedical classes will count as a science credit rather than a practical arts credit as it is in the many surrounding districts. The program will most likely target eighth graders and freshmen because, in order to complete the program in its entirety, students will have to begin taking the classes their freshman year and continue taking the courses throughout their senior year.

“I think it’s absolutely fabulous that they are doing this,” senior Katie Davis said. “There are a lot of people who are interested in the medical field. I’m sure it would have been helpful for me to have been able to take it, but I’m not too disappointed. I’m excited for the underclassmen to be able take the classes.”

Science teachers will teach the courses and in order to be certified to do so, they must attend a two-week training period at Missouri College of Science and Technology over the summer where they will be immersed in the material that they will be teaching. Then they will be tested over the material they learned to make sure that they are well educated on the topic they will be teaching students about. Depending upon how many students sign up to take the new course, there may be a shift in how many genetics and anatomy classes are offered to make room for the new program since, according to Greiner, those two classes are the most popular taken by kids who are interested in a medical career.

“I think it’s probably going to be very time consuming, like a full-time job for those two weeks, but I’m excited to go through all of the activities that the kids will be going through the following year,” science teacher Dawn Hahn said. “I think it will be eye-opening, and I think it will be fun.”

According to Greiner, because there is such a popular demand for careers in the medical science field, the District wanted to meet the popular demands of the students and better equip them for their future in the particular medical job