Behind the Scenes: BioMed


Courtesy of redknightbiomed on Instagram

Students in Biomed analyze research for their projects.

At BSM, Biomedical Science is a rigorous, hands-on course where students have access to it all. Whether it’s investigating, diagnosing, dissecting, creating, or solving their own problems, this challenging and thought provoking course opts to prepare students for a future in the medical field.

The school offers three biomedical science courses: Biomedical Science I: Investigations, Biomedical Science II: AP Seminar, and Biomedical Science III: AP Research. These three different courses offer a different perspective from a regular science class by introducing real world problems to students. Most importantly, biomed lets students ask their own questions and solve them by using the skills taught in the class. “It’s really not about content that I’m directing them to learn. They really have to discover a lot of content on their own. And then what they get to do with that content is really authentic,” teacher Mark Peterson said.

Biomed 1: Investigations: The first biomed class offered, composed of mainly sophomores and juniors, starts the process of exposure into the medical world by investigation. Focused mainly on illnesses, diseases, and their effects on the body, the course is thrilling for students interested in going into the medical field. Whether it’s dissecting a cat, diagnosing a rare illness or preparing a final case study at the end of the year, students find themselves enthralled and ready to work in this rigorous course. “We learned a lot about the medical field and a lot about the different parts of the body.… It has prepared me a lot. We learn a lot about the body parts, functions of the body and how to diagnose,” sophomore Lucia Hoyt said.

Mr. Peterson does a wonderful job of teaching us skills on how to research, how to find articles and how to use our resources here at BSM to the best of our abilities,

— Sam Steensland

Biomed ll: AP seminar: A step up from Biomed l, this class is an AP course filled with complex issues of debate. Genetic engineering in humans, animal use in research, effectiveness of stem cell therapies, are just some of the questions students challenge themselves with. Mainly filled with juniors and seniors who are prepared to ask themselves questions and spend the whole year answering them. This class is notorious for its long presentations about what students have spent their time studying. By doing these presentations, students find themselves well prepared for college and one step ahead of the rest of their grade. “When students come back from college… I grab as many as I can and ask them, what did we do? What do we need to improve on? And 100% of the time, they’ll say, the papers and presentations that we did in biomed are the things that I’m doing right now,” Peterson said.

Although these presentations are nerve wracking for a majority, teachers find that the students’ growth over the course of the year is tremendous. When first starting out, it is an extremely anxiety inducing process, but over the course of the year students’ confidence begins to increase. As students become more comfortable with the idea of talking in front of their peers, that’s when the real growth starts. Biomed is first and foremost a science class, but the real prize of it comes with the growth of the students. “I could nerd out about the science and stuff. But my favorite thing…I love watching the growth over the year, especially with presentations. Some students are just scared spitless because they have to present to other people. And by the end of the year, it’s just so cool to watch the transition of those students that are now confident,” Peterson said.

Biomed lll: AP Research. One of the most collaborative classes at BSM, this class lets students focus on one personal interest and turn it into a year-long project. Students study their development throughout the year, document the entire processes, and end the year with a paper of roughly 5,000 words and a presentation backing their research. Summed up in one word, this class is rigorous. It lets students dive into what they are passionate about, and explore options to ultimately make the world a better place. If anything, this class prepares students for making a difference in the world by using their critical thinking skills founded by their support from teachers and their own motivation. “Mr. Peterson does a wonderful job of teaching us skills on how to research, how to find articles and how to use our resources here at BSM to the best of our abilities,” senior Samantha Steensland said.

Overall, the Biomed courses are some of the most liked courses at BSM. They have proven themselves to be challenging, and extremely useful in later life. Biomed offers something different from a regular science class; instead of constant memorization it encourages students to make the call, which is very appealing. Students have not only made miraculous discoveries, they have found lifelong lessons. “I truly love the community that we’ve built within the classroom and the 20 to 25 students that we’ve been together with for the past three years,” Steensland said.