Coon Rapids High School biomedical program attracts students

If Eva Moronge’s enthusiasm for Coon Rapids High School’s fledging biomedical program is any indication, it will attract students and begin to prepare them for good jobs in medical careers.

Coon Rapids High School junior Eva Moronge (right) describes the hands-on projects students work on daily in their new principles of biomedical science course when she spoke with middle school students and their parents at the open house for the school’s biomedical program.

Coon Rapids High School junior Eva Moronge (right) describes the hands-on projects students work on daily in their new principles of biomedical science course when she spoke with middle school students and their parents at the open house for the school’s biomedical program.

Moronge, a junior who is taking the new principles of biomedical science course, spoke informally with middle school students and their parents who attended an open house for the program.

The event was designed to give incoming freshman throughout the district an idea of what to expect if they choose the challenging biomedical program.

Students and their parents toured the newly remodeled biomedical classrooms and had the opportunity to talk informally with representatives from colleges with biomedical programs and businesses that create devices used to save patients’ lives and improve their health.

Tim Jackson of Boston Scientific was upbeat about the future of careers in health care related field.

“In general, they are among the few that have come through the recession unscathed,” said Jackson, an engineer who works as a project manager in the company’s cardiology, rhythm and vascular division, designing defibrillators, pacemakers and other life-saving products.

His career is most rewarding when he sees the positive impact his devices have on patients’ lives and he expects career opportunities in the biomedical field to increase because health care needs are increasing as the population ages, Jackson said.

Moronge is sold on the biomedical program not only because it opens many career opportunities, but also because it provides students with many opportunities for hands-on exploration.

The first course introduces students to a fictional person who has died. They gain knowledge and skills that will help them determine how the individual died. They also learn about health conditions, lifestyle choices and medical treatments that may prolong life.

She especially enjoyed the field trip she and her classmates took to Gillette Children’s Hospital where students tried a variety of procedures in the hospital’s simulation lab working under the supervision of medical professionals, Moronge said.

“We got to mend broken bones with screws, give anesthesia, draw blood and give shots on simulation mannequins,” she said. “They were very lifelike. They actually breathed.”

Moronge is considering going into pediatric medicine. “But there are so many decisions to make now that I know so much more,” she said. “There are so many aspects of medicine that I didn’t know about before.”

Moronge describes the hands-on projects students work on daily in their new principles of biomedical science course and recommends students explore these careers at no cost in high school rather than waiting until college and paying for it.

“Plus, you can get three college credits for each class,” she said.

The program includes a series of four courses. Students in the full program take one two-trimester course each year.

Instructor Kelly Schmidt said the courses are very challenging and require students to think in different ways. She said students who are self-motivated will be most successful.

“They are very technology based with hands-on labs,” said Program Coordinator Leah Sams. “Students are applying what they are learning every day.”

She encourages students to register for a course and check it out.

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