Biomedical Sciences » Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Sciences

Course Description: Students investigate the human body systems and various health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease, hypercholesterolemia, and infectious diseases.  They determine the factors that led to the death of a fictional person and investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that may have prolonged the person’s life.  The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, medicine, research processes and bioinformatics. This course is designed to provide an overview of all the courses in the Biomedical Science program and lay the scientific foundation for subsequent courses.


Students will:

  • Investigate the human circulatory, respiratory, digestive, excretory, nervous, and skeletal systems;
  • Build a pump and investigate factors that affect pump efficiency;
  • Compare a mechanical pump to a four-chambered heart;
  • Monitor heart function through the use of data acquisition software;
  • Investigate the role of enzymes in biochemical reactions;
  • Build models of macromolecules including carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and DNA;
  • Analyze positive and negative feedback systems;
  • Make chromosome spreads and karyotypes;
  • Isolate DNA from plant cells;
  • Read genetic maps and build models of specific proteins;
  • Design a protein with specific characteristics by using computer simulation software;
  • Examine differences in DNA sequences through the use of DNA electrophoresis;
  • Perform Gram stain analyses of bacteria;
  • Build models of viruses;
  • Create a public health campaign to inform other students about an infectious disease by working as a member of a team;
  • Examine various medical interventions used to prolong life; and
  • Work on a team to write and present a grant proposal for an intervention to prevent or lessen the effect of a health condition, syndrome, or disease.


Course Description:  Students examine the interactions of body systems as they explore identity, communication, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis.  Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human body, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary actions, and respiration.  Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal manikin, work through interesting real-world cases and often play the role of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries.


Students will:

  • Investigate how a body is identified through the analysis of bone structure and DNA;
  • Compare the response times of voluntary and reflex actions using data acquisition software;
  • Build an electrical circuit to simulate nervous impulses moving through the body;
  • Dissect a sheep’s brain and map key regions that control body functions such as coordination and reasoning;
  • Analyze the role the respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive and excretory systems play in converting the body’s fuel into usable energy;
  • Investigate muscle structure and function by building models;
  • Build a working model of a joint;
  • Design experiments to investigate intercellular communication; and
  • Explore how the skin, bones, blood, and liver work together to protect the body from invaders and toxins.


Course Description: Students investigate the variety of interventions involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease as they follow the lives of a fictitious family.  The course is a “How-To” manual for maintaining overall health and homeostasis in the body as students explore: how to prevent and fight infection; how to screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; how to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer; and how to prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail.  Through these scenarios, students are exposed to the wide range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics. Lifestyle choices and preventative measures are emphasized throughout the course as well as the important roles scientific thinking and engineering design play in the development of interventions of the future.


Students will:

  • Research the history of medical interventions;
  • Investigate the role diagnostic tests and procedures play in the prevention of disease and the preservation of life;
  • Investigate how pharmaceuticals are identified, tested, and made available to patients;
  • Examine the use of antibiotics and the development of antibiotic resistance;
  • Research the risks, benefits, and history of vaccination;
  • Explore the link between technological advances and improved medical interventions;
  • Build a prosthetic device;
  • Measure hearing and examine hearing aid and cochlear implant technology;
  • Perform experiments on gene transfer using bacteria;
  • Investigate the immunological testing required for organ transplant;
  • Research interventions in the field of reproductive medicine;
  • Review current literature and case studies on the development of new medical interventions;
  • Explore the impact of societal attitudes on the development and acceptance of medical interventions; and
  • Write a report on the ethics of using a controversial medical intervention


Course Description: In this capstone course, students apply their knowledge and skills to answer questions to solve problems related to the biomedical sciences.  Students design innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century as they work through progressively challenging open-ended problems, addressing topics such as clinical medicine, physiology, biomedical engineering, and public health.  They have the opportunity to work on an independent project and may work with a mentor or advisor from a university, hospital, physician’s office, or industry.  Throughout the course students are expected to present their work to an adult audience that may include representatives from the local business and health care community.


Students will:

  • Identify a research topic or problem;
  • Complete a review of the available literature regarding the research topic or problem;
  • Write a research proposal;
  • Explore various research methods and laboratory techniques;
  • Conduct independent research with the guidance of a mentor from a scientific or medical institution or company;
  • Analyze the data collected from the research;
  • Write a formal report of the research methods, results, and conclusions; and
  • Present the research results to professionals from the scientific or medical community.

PLTW Biomed Informational Video Link:

The PLTW® Biomedical Sciences™ program is a series of four courses that offer high school students a dynamic curriculum that uses real world experience and hands on learning. Students with interest in exploring the variety of career opportunities that the field of medicine offers will find PLTW’s Biomedical Sciences program a fantastic doorway to a future in science, research, or any of the medical related fields.