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Portage Township Media

Unsure of What to Take Next Year? Look Into Principles of Biomedical Sciences!

December is approaching, meaning that scheduling classes for the 2023-2024 school year is just around the corner! Portage High School is fortunate to have various courses available for students to choose, one of which is the Principles of Biomedical Sciences class, taught by Ms. Jackie Brasseur and Ms. Tania Higareda.


The class is two semesters long, one semester focusing on forensics, or the science of criminal investigation, and one semester focusing on clinical care and emergency medicine. Unlike basic science classes such as biology or chemistry, students have the opportunity to explore careers such as doctors, nurses, or criminal investigators through hands-on activities, many of which these professionals do on a daily basis. Students will encounter many scenarios such as investigating a crime scene, containing a disease outbreak, and caring for an emergency medical patient to develop skills necessary in those careers.


“It’s a lot about training, getting you skills, both soft skills and lab skills to prepare you for, and to explore careers in the medical field,” Ms. Brasseur stated when asked about what students should know about the class.


Throughout the year, students learn how to perform many tasks done by medical professionals, such as learning how to draw blood, evaluating vital signs and symptoms from a patient, stopping a bleed from a wound using a tourniquet, and understanding an autopsy.

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Ms. Brasseur described the relevancy of the activities done in class: “We’re always doing things instead of a straight lecture, but the things that you’re doing are things that we’ve experienced, like in a doctor’s office or watched on TV.”


Other fun activities include dissecting a real sheep heart, watching a live open heart surgery, growing bacteria from a Petri dish, and meeting guest speakers who talk about their careers in the biomedical field.


Many students have found Principles of Biomedical Sciences to be extremely beneficial in helping them decide on a future career. Nathan Mata, a current student in Ms. Higareda’s class, expressed that while he had always been interested in criminal investigation from TV shows like CSI and NCIS, the unit on forensic science gave him a new perspective.


“It helped me look into a possible law enforcement career with criminal investigation,” Mata stated when asked how the class helped him.


Aside from teaching students about careers in the biomedical field, the class also has given students necessary life skills that are applicable to all facets of life. Through the activities that happen within the class, students learn critical thinking, problem solving, and cooperative learning skills. Much of the projects done in class are done in groups, so students also learn how to work as a team and how to build their confidence with others. Current student Jada Thomas felt personally impacted by the skills gained within the class.


“I actually made new friends in this class. I used to be like that quiet kid who sat in the back and didn’t even speak, but it’s helped me step out.”


Principles of Biomedical Sciences is also the first course in the PLTW Biomedical Pathway, preceding Human Body Systems and Medical Interventions, and can be used to fulfill graduation requirements. There is a prerequisite of being enrolled in, or having taken a biology course. If interested in this enriching course, students should speak with their guidance counselor!

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