Biomedical Science Class Takes Field Trip


Samuel Peters

AP Research students attend the INSPIRE Conference at the University of Minnesota

On November 17, science teacher Mark Peterson took his class, AP Research, to represent BSM for the first time ever at the IEM Inspire Program Inspire Conference. Taking place at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus, this was the 5th annual conference.

Each year the focus issue is different. Students, professors, and professionals with expertise in science, engineering, and medical proficiency gathered to lead this year’s convention targeting diabetes. “The focus was on diabetes inspiring young people in science to continue to pursue careers in STEM,” senior Dominic Argenta said.

Topics ranged from new insulin injection devices to artificial vital organs. “During the afternoon we talked about there was one lady that had made an artificial pancreas out of pig eyelids and that was just really cool to me, that was probably my favorite,” senior Lindsey Pfeiffer, said.

Students also got the chance to connect with students from other schools who share a passion for the medical field. “I definitely enjoyed meeting some new people from some new schools and mingling and whatnot. They shared in my passions, experiences, and had many shared experiences. It was just a great conference with great people,” Argenta said.

The focus was on diabetes inspiring young people in science to continue to pursue careers in STEM

— Argenta

Peterson even got a chance to share with other schools about BSM’s AP Research class. “My key takeaway from the conference was probably the chance to talk to a couple of conference goers and describe our course, AP Research, and how we could better tie into the resources that the University of Minnesota has to offer,” Peterson said.

The conference was not solely for the purpose of education, another aspect was to show the youth the possibilities in the field. Also, it showed how the research and medical field is not limited to one set type of person. Hence, the title, Inspire.

“I think one of the themes of the conference was the presenters were very deliberate about talking about their journeys, and not all of them liked high school science and there was just some event in their life that kind of flipped the switch for them, that they got excited about science in particular research related to diabetes,” Peterson said.

Peterson and his students did not fully expect this amount of inspiration to result. “My expectations were pretty open I would say. I knew it was on diabetes and there would be speakers, but that was really it,” Argenta said.

The lectures turned out to be more than helpful for most. “I think the feedback that I’ve heard from everybody that I’ve asked is really positive. A number of students who had some kind of ‘aha’ moments, whether it was about a career or their own work in AP Research currently,” Peterson said.

Future career choices were altered or motivated in some students. “It made me think about more possible career paths right now. I want to be a vet. But it made me think maybe to go into research or something like that,” Pfeiffer said.