The US Bureau of Labor & Statistics predicts that healthcare will be one of the fastest growing industries in the next decade, adding more than two million new jobs. Students at CPHS interested in entering this field have a variety of classes and clubs preparing them for future success.
In Biomedical Innovations, students are challenged to complete a number of critical thinking projects throughout the school year, including a yearlong independent research project. The course is a capstone in the Project Lead the Way Biomedical track at CPHS.
For one project, students must create or improve a biomedical product by researching, exploring design solutions, and designing a proposal. Students showcase their designs with a model, prototype, or schematic and create a marketing plan to pitch their product to a panel of mock investors made of community members. It’s high school “Shark Tank,” and the results are anything but elementary.
Teacher Ashley Cosme says that through the project students learn to professionally communicate an idea to the public. Having members of the community participate in the presentations provides a real audience and an opportunity to be engaged with Crown Point residents. “We have developed this wonderful relationship where they have been able to see how the projects change from year to year as the class evolves,” said Cosme.
Projects this year included a device to prevent endangered bats from being killed by wind turbines and a tracking device for at-risk patients in hospitals. Senior Kendra Steinberg’s prototype was designed to prevent amputees from having wounds and ill-fitting sockets due to muscle atrophy (muscle weakness). Her design stimulates muscle strengthening in a patient’s residual limb to keep their prosthesis well-fitting.
Each year, biomed students present their prototypes to Dr. Jerry Allee and James Baltzersen, both members of the Crown Point Rotary club. “Watching these presentations helps me realize that we are in good hands for the future because of these students and their abilities. It renews my faith in the next generation. We have some very remarkable students at CPHS,” said Dr. Allee. Baltzersen agrees. “This is something that we look forward to every year. The work that the students put in to present their projects is incredible. I am always amazed at the creativity of the students to present something that could benefit the medical community.”
As far as the students, the feedback they receive is just as valuable. “Having guests from the community evaluate my project was a very positive experience. These community members valued the hard work and many hours I have put into my innovation,” said Steinberg.