The fourth year Biomedical and Engineering pathway courses were combined into one course for the 2014-2015 school year.
For the past two years, seniors in these pathways have taken courses in either Biomedical Innovations or Aerospace Engineering, but this year they are all taking a new course called Biomedical Design and Entrepreneurship, co-taught by Mrs. Josephson and Mrs. Miesner.
“Before we were kind of doing a lot of little projects, whereas this year when we’re combining the two. Now we’re letting them work all year long on one big project really getting to use those skills,” said Miesner. “The biomedical girls haven’t been as much introduced to the design cycle as Engineering girls have, whereas the Engineering students haven’t gotten as much just regular core knowledge as the Biomedical has.”
In this combined class, the seniors will be working on year-long group projects requiring them to invent a healthcare product.
One of [the teams] is designing a portable way to modify bathtubs to be safe for senior citizens,” said Miesner. “Ms. Jo’s dad was here today and they interviewed her dad because he’s an older person and he has older friends.”
Chloe Coronado-Winn, a senior in the Engineering pathway, is working on designing a floatation device with her group.
“[It will be] for children from like one to six,” said Chloe. “We’ve realized that [floaties] are not actually that effective, and kids can still drown while wearing them or suffocate just because they don’t fit correctly.”
In addition to designing and prototyping their inventions, students will also learn how to market and sell them.
“We’re calling it Biomedical Design and Entrepreneurship because we’re going through the design process,” said Miesner. “It’s great to make something but what are you going to do with it? If you want it to go to a third-world country, how are you going to fund that?”
At first, seniors said they had their apprehensions about the class, but now they think it will turn out well.
“Personally, my very last choice ever in eighth grade when we had to pick pathways was Biomed…so I was a little bit scared when they combined pathways.” said Chloe. “I thought we were going to take Aerospace so I was excited about that, but so far it seems to be really balanced between Biomed and Engineering, so I’ve been okay with it.”
The teachers said that they’re excited about how the projects will turn out.
“With this particular group I think that [the projects] going to be really good.” said Josephson. “This is a really highly motivated group of girls, and then we also have the Makerspace, so if we didn’t have the makerspace prototyping would be really hard.”