• Principles of Biomedical Science  2015 - 2016          Ms. Kathleen Wilhelmy


    Course Objective

    This course provides an introduction to the biomedical sciences through exciting hands-on projects and problems. 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 might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, medicine, research processes and bioinformatics. Key biological concepts including homeostasis, metabolism, inheritance of traits, and defense against disease are embedded in the curriculum. Engineering principles including the design process, feedback loops, and the relationship of structure to function are also incorporated. This course is designed to provide an overview of all the courses in the Biomedical Sciences program and lay the scientific foundation for subsequent courses.



    Each marking period counts as 40% of a student’s final grade, with a comprehensive final exam at the end of the Semester which will count as 20% of their final grade. Each marking period the grade will be determined according to the following chart.


    PLTW Class Activities



    Major Projects / Tests






    Class Participation
























    Below 65


    Attendance, Lateness and Cutting

    All rules regarding attendance, lateness, and cutting will be followed as per the 2015 – 2016 Policy Edition Newsletter. All absences will be counted as unexcused unless the school receives proper notification. You must report to class on time or you will be marked late. If you are late three times it will be equivalent to one absence, which could affect your grade. If you cut a class or are late you will receive a “0” for any assigned work, quizzes or tests you miss during that period.


    It is the student’s responsibility to make up any work missed due to an excused absence within 5 days of returning to school.  This includes absences in which the student was not in school and it includes missing a class due to participation in a sport, extracurricular activity and attending class trips or any other school event. Please consult with me in advance if you will be missing class for a test, quiz or major presentation so that arrangements can be made.

    Time will be given in class to complete the activities and projects but any assignments not completed in class must be completed for homework. The specific items that are due for each assignment will be specified by me during the lesson and posted on the board. It is the student’s responsibility to complete and hand in assignment on time.  Some activities and projects will be completed in groups and each person is responsible for taking their own notes and answering all conclusion questions. Failure to turn in assignments on time will result in a reduced grade or a zero.

    Quizzes and tests will be given throughout the course.  The material covered on each test will based on the essential questions, vocabulary and content covered in each activity. 

    Lab Activities

    If a student misses a class lab activity that cannot be made up during class time then an alternate or modified assignment may be given. In some cases students will have to use classroom equipment to complete makeup assignments which will require that they come in before or after regular school hours to make up missed assignments.  It is important that the makeup work is completed as soon as possible to keep up with the class material.

    PLEASE NOTE:  Not all lab activities can be made up.  Some labs require extensive and complicated teacher preparation and some solutions and materials cannot be recreated.  Students who miss these activities may not receive full credit for the alternate assignment.


    School rules and regulations will be followed in my classroom as per the Student Handbook. Students should wear their school I.D. and dress appropriately. Inappropriate use of electronic devices will not be tolerated during class and are subject to confiscation and/or disciplinary action.

    Plagiarism will not be tolerated. It invalidates the work of the person who copied the words, and deprives the original author of credit.

    Students will be assigned seats, lab tables, books, and other equipment for use during class; it is his/her responsibility to insure their area and equipment is kept neat, clean, in good working order and free of any graffiti. The equipment and books are expensive and students will be held financially accountable for damages due to neglect.

    All Safety rules and regulations must be followed as per safety contract. Not following lab safety rules could result in the student’s removal from class and a reduced grade or a zero for that lab assignment.


    Student Supplies Required

    Laboratory Journal

    Career Notebook

    3 Ring Binder



    Attached you will find an overview and outline of the course.



    Principles of the Biomedical Sciences Unit Summaries


    The Principles of the Biomedical Sciences (PBS) course is divided into six units designed to introduce students to the study of human biology and medicine. The following is a description of each unit in the PBS course.

    Unit 1 – The Mystery

    Unit one provides the foundation and develops the theme for the course. Students are engaged by reading about a woman, Anna Garcia, who is found dead in her home. Students investigate the scene, gather evidence and then move to the lab to analyze their findings. Through their examination of key evidence, students learn notebook organization, observation and documentation skills, as well as the fundamentals of experimental design. Students are introduced to the structure of DNA and investigate how basic molecular biology techniques can be used to connect suspects with a crime scene. In each unit of the course, students obtain additional medical history information for Anna as well as details from her autopsy report as they explore the various illnesses she encountered throughout her life. Students will maintain a medical file for Anna Garcia, compile their ideas and findings over the duration of the course, and ultimately determine her cause of death in the final unit.

    Unit 2 – Diabetes

    Students walk through Anna Garcia’s diagnosis of diabetes by completing simulated laboratory tests. Given results of the tests, students can deduce the basic biology of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Students investigate the connection between insulin and glucose and discuss how feedback systems in the body regulate the function of key hormones. Students investigate the biochemical makeup of food and complete experiments to demonstrate the relationship between energy and food. As students explore diabetes, they are introduced to basic chemistry, the structure and function of macromolecules, and the relationship of these molecules to metabolic function. The causes, symptoms, treatments and side effects of diabetes are studied as well as the life style implications associated with this disease. Students examine complications related to diabetes and finally brainstorm and develop an innovation to help with the management or treatment of the disease.

    Unit 3 – Sickle Cell Disease

    Students learn basic concepts of genetics and inheritance as they explore Anna Garcia’s struggle with sickle cell disease. Students examine sickled red blood cells under a microscope and learn what life is like with the disease by reading and writing patient diary entries. They simulate the process of protein synthesis, examine the assembly of the protein hemoglobin, and demonstrate how sickle cell disease results from a mutation that alters a protein product. Students create chromosomes spreads, examine the structure of chromosomes, and show how traits are passed through generations on these chromosomes in our cells.  Students also discuss the bioethics of scientific research and explore the bounds of HIPAA legislation.

    Unit 4 – Heart Disease

    Students examine the normal function of the human heart and investigate malfunctions in the cardiovascular system that can lead to heart disease. Students complete a dissection to tour heart anatomy and study heart function using probes and data acquisition software. They collect and analyze heart data including heart rate, blood pressure, and EKG readings and analyze cardiac test results of Anna Garcia. Students explore the role cholesterol plays in the body. Students further their knowledge of molecular biology as they run gel electrophoresis and complete RFLP analysis to diagnose familial hypercholesterolemia. Students design models to simulate the function of a pump and design visuals to show interventions for blocked coronary vessels.


    Unit 5 – Infectious Disease

    Students follow the spread of a simulated epidemic as engagement to a thorough examination of the agents of disease. Students use clues from their investigation of Anna Garcia’s medical history to deduce that she was suffering from a bacterial infection. Through a series of laboratory investigations, students learn the fundamentals of aseptic technique, complete visual identification of bacterial morphology, use the Gram stain to examine bacterial cell structure, and run metabolic tests to pinpoint the particular bacterium at the heart of the illness. Students explain the functioning of the human immune system in a visual project and explore how this system is designed to protect against invaders.


    Unit 6 – Post Mortem

    In the final unit of the course, students put together all they have learned throughout the course to determine Anna Garcia’s cause of death. Students will investigate the structure and function of key human body systems and relate the illnesses in the course to a breakdown in these systems. Students will begin to recognize the coordination and interconnections of the body systems required to maintain homeostasis, a precursor to the theme of the Human Body Systems course.



    Please sign and return to Ms. Wilhelmy.


    I have read and understand the course requirements listed above.



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