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Vol. 44, No. 44

June 1, 2010 

 

7 High Schools Earn Nation’s First Certification for Biomedical Programs

Public high schools in Blue Springs, Hazelwood and St. Joseph are the first in the country to earn national certification for their Project Lead The Way Biomedical Science™ programs, state education officials said today.

Project Lead The Way is a national, nonprofit group that promotes hands-on, problem-based coursework to improve achievement in mathematics and science.  Nearly 300 American high schools are now using the PLTW Biomedical Science program and curriculum. 

“We are delighted that Missouri high schools are, in fact, leading the way for other states with the implementation of a high-quality curriculum that will prepare students to excel in this critical field,” said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro.  “The biomedical and health care fields are expected to generate one out of every five new jobs by 2018.  Therefore, our schools and students need to put greater emphasis on math, science and technology.”

Nicastro credited the dedication and hard work of students, school leaders and teachers, as well as community support, for earning the distinctions.  The schools were lauded by PLTW review teams for their leadership and outstanding practices in implementing the program curriculum. 

The seven high schools that have certified PLTW biomedical programs are:

Blue Springs School District

  • Freshman Center

  • Blue Springs High School

  • Blue Springs South High School

Hazelwood School District

  • Hazelwood East High School

  • Hazelwood Central High School

  • Hazelwood West High School

St. Joseph School District

  • Lafayette High School

PLTW, originally known for its pre-engineering curriculum, began the Biomedical Sciences program in response to an expected shortage of qualified science and health professionals.  The program augments existing high school science and math college-preparatory programs to establish a solid background in biomedical science.  It provides a four-year series of courses designed to help students meet the demands of a biomedical-related career. 

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has supported Project Lead The Way initiatives in Missouri since 2001.

Thirteen Missouri public high schools have adopted the Biomedical Sciences program since it began in five pilot schools in 2007-08.