New career opportunity for students
October 17, 2019 | View PDF
Shafter High School has many career technical education courses on campus. One of the most popular pathways is Project Lead the Way.
This year, Shafter High has added a new pathway, biomedical science. This pathway has four courses that build on each other: Principles of Biomedical Science Honors, Human Body Systems, Medical Interventions and Biomedical Innovation. Since this is the inaugural year of this pathway, the only course offered at this time is Principles of Biomedical; it is open to all grade levels.
James Willey, the teacher of this course, attended a PLTW conference last year and was introduced to this pathway at one of the sessions. He immediately knew that the students at SHS would enjoy this course work, thrive in the lessons, and it would open new opportunities for them after they leave school. He met with the administration team, and with the support of Mr. Shipley and Mrs. Beadling, the pathway was added to the courses offered at Shafer High School.
The basic design behind the program is to introduce students to different health careers offered and explore the technology, skills and concepts that are associated with the different careers. Students have an opportunity to not just learn about human health in theory, but learn to gather and analyze evidence to determine health issues or causes of death. They also learn how to use technology common in different fields; such as, taking blood pressure, using a stethoscope, and gathering and testing DNA and fingerprints. Although this program is not focused on clinical health, students have an opportunity to shadow health professionals which lead to internship opportunities. Students also have the opportunity to take an exam their third and/or fourth year of the program that can allow them to become a certified lab technician assistant.
Mr. Willey was a double major in premedicine and is very "excited to be able to get back into [his] passion." He originally had plans to become a doctor but now feels he has an opportunity to do two things that he loves: teach and be involved with health-related fields.