The West Port High School Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Science Program is a sequence of courses aligned with Career and Technical Education (CTE) national learning standards. The program follows a hands-on, real-world problem-solving approach to learning.
Whether discovering new cancer treatments or teaching healthy lifestyle choices to their communities, today’s biomedical science professionals are tackling monumental challenges to make the world a better place. PLTW Biomedical Science students are taking on these same real-world challenges – and they’re doing it before they even graduate from high school. Working with the same tools used by professionals in hospitals and labs, students collaborate on complex tasks to find solutions to problems. PLTW Biomedical Science students develop skills necessary for biomedical science professions while they engage in activities like performing organ dissections, learning how to perform gel electrophoresis and how to culture bacteria using aseptic technique.
Students also develop the workforce attributes necessary to succeed on any career path they choose. PLTW Biomedical Science students learn to analyze current medical articles, design original experiments and collaborate with their peers to solve real-world scenarios. The program is designed to prepare students to pursue a post-secondary education and career in the biomedical sciences.
Applicants should be students in good academic, attendance, and disciplinary standing, with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and a Level 3 score on state tests or comparable scores on End of Course Exams.
Principles of Biomedical Science (Year 1)
By engaging in activities like dissecting a sheep heart, students explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person.
Human Body Systems (Year 2)
Through projects such as determining the identity of a skeleton using both forensic anthropology and DNA analysis, students examine the interactions of human body systems and apply what they know to solve real-world medical cases.
Medical Interventions (Year 3)
Students delve into activities like designing a prosthetic arm as they follow the life of a fictitious family and investigate how to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.
At the completion of the three year program, students can earn the Biotechnician Assistant Credential by passing the Biotechnician Assistant Credential Examination (BACE). The BACE is an industry recognized exam that provides entry level access to lucrative Biomedical Careers.
Jobs in Biotechnology
Fastest Growing Jobs in Biotechnology:
The BLS has projected a 30 percent increase in the demand for genetic counselors from 2014 to 2024. The majority of genetic counselors work in hospitals. The majority of them work in hospitals. The typical educational requirement for a genetic counselor is a master’s degree after some sort of life science or medical bachelor’s degree, often nursing. According to Salary.com, the median salary for a genetic counselor is $69,957, ranging from about $63,164 to $77,849.
These engineers combine engineering with medical and biological sciences, usually to design and construct equipment, devices, computer systems and software used in healthcare. There are often bachelor’s programs in biomedical engineering. According to the BLS, the median pay is $85,620 per year and the job growth outlook is much faster than average, at 23 percent.
A technician typically has a two-year associate’s degree, while a technologist has a four-year bachelor’s degree, often with a year’s practical internship on top of it. There’s been a shortage of medical technologists for at least the last 20 years and isn’t expected to decrease as the general population ages. The majority of medical laboratory technologists and technicians work in healthcare laboratories at hospital laboratories or large commercial clinical diagnostic companies, although there are also positions in physician office laboratories. According to Salary.com, the average annual salary for an ASCP-certified medical technologist is $66,108. BLS lumps technicians and technologists into the same category, with a median salary of $50,930. However, it does suggest that the technician salary is typically $38,950.
These positions are usually at the PhD level. Biophycisists merge physics with the biological scientists. According to the BLS, biophysicists have an average annual salary of $87,640, with the top 10 percent earning over $147,320. A biochemist, rather obviously, studies biochemistry, which is to say, the chemistry of living organisms. Salary.com indicates that the median annual salary for a Biochemist I is $50,516, although it’s necessary to point out that this refers to people with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. For a PhD, the U.S. Department of Labor indicates the highest earning PhDs exceed $100,000 per year.
An epidemiologist applies statistical analysis to diseases in human populations. They are broadly called public health professionals, although there are academic positions as well, and there is a significant crossover these days in data science and bioinformatics. According to the BLS, the median pay for an epidemiologist is $70,820, requires a master’s degree, and from 2014 to 2024 is growing at about the average rate of 6%.
This can be a rather broad field, although it generally focuses on bacteria, fungi and viruses. It also requires a broad background in human cell biology and molecular biology. The BLS projected a 4 percent increase in demand between 2014 and 2024. Most positions call for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. There are positions in clinical diagnostic laboratories, academic and industrial research laboratories, and in public health laboratories. According to the BLS, the median pay for a microbiologist—probably with a bachelor’s degree—is $66,850.
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics