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Program brings biomed practice to MD high schools

Project Lead the Way gives grants to high schools for broad-based preparation for biomed careers.
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Come 2008, juniors and seniors at ten Maryland high schools will get a chance to experience what it would be like to be a forensic scientist, reports The (Frederick, MD) Gazette.

The Frederick County, MD, school district received a grant that funds programs where students will be used to purchase cutting-edge technology to investigate deaths and cure diseases. The biomedical science grant pays for state-of-the-art microscopes and specialized computer software, which will allow students to explore the human body, detect illnesses and learn from mock deaths.

"It's a broad-based preparation for students who are interested in the medical field," said Charlene Bonham, supervisor of career and technology education at county schools. "There is nothing else like that in the county high schools."

Only 10 schools were chosen in Maryland to receive the $25,000 grant from the Maryland State Department of Education to start the program.

The biomedical science grant could appeal to those students interested in exploring a variety of medical professions including physicians, nurses, forensic scientists, radiologists, paramedics, dietitians, technicians and pharmacists.

Project Lead the Way, a national initiative which promotes careers in engineering, initiated the program, and eventually intends to take it nationwide.

The program consists of four courses: principles of biomedical sciences, human body systems, medical intervention and science research. At the end of the program, students will also do research together with local doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.

Keri-Beth Nagel, program director for bioprocessing technologies at Frederick Community College, said she expects the new biomedical program to ease students' way into college.

"Biology is like a new language," she said. "The more exposure you get to it, the better."

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