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Leading the Way

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Leading the Way

Mr. Underwood teaches his science class with his usual spunky-excitement.

Mr. Underwood teaches his science class with his usual spunky-excitement.

Rachel Polivka

Mr. Underwood teaches his science class with his usual spunky-excitement.

Rachel Polivka

Rachel Polivka

Mr. Underwood teaches his science class with his usual spunky-excitement.

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The yellow caution tape stretches across the room, separating the group of students from the crime scene. The teacher walks around, asking them what they observe, pointing out subtleties of the scene.

Rocklin High’s new Principles of Biomedicine class offers students a hands-on experience to explore the field of biomed and possible careers related to it.

“This is a freshman only class. We will be rolling out more Project Lead the Way classes as the years progress,” biomed teacher Jeff Underwood said.

Project Lead the Way is the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math programs. Dedicated to helping students develop the skills needed to be successful in the global economy, PLTW utilizes world-class K-12 curriculum.

Here at Rocklin High, the biomed class offers more than just another biology course; it offers a rigorous, fast-paced, hands-on course. As with freshman Veda Lelchook, the hands-on experience is what drew many students in.

“I have always been a more hands-on learner, and this class offers lots of opportunities like that,” Veda said. She is in one of three sections of the course, and she is excited for the year ahead.

“So far, we have had a lab day in which we used evidence from our ‘crime scene’. Also, we have learned about the different methods of searching a crime scene. In addition, we talked over all of the evidence and came up with several theories about what happened at the crime scene,” Veda said.

It is this unique, hands-on curriculum that helped to promote the formation of this class at Rocklin High.

“Over the years, many science teachers have realized that it is an awesome curriculum that will help inspire students to explore the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics career paths,” Underwood said.

However, the PLTW classes are not solely for students who know that they want to pursue science, tech, engineering, or math.

“So far, I cannot tell if I want to pursue a career in the field of biomed. It seems very interesting, but I will see if it is just the right thing for me as the year comes along,” said Veda.

For many students, the new biomed class, in addition to new PLTW classes, will offer the perfect opportunity to explore different career paths while still in high school.

Rocklin High is diversifying its classes by leaps and bounds, giving students greater opportunities to study subjects that they might have never considered before.

“There are currently 3 sections, with more on the horizon! Any freshman is welcome, however, this is a very fast-paced, student-centered class where the students will be working on multiple projects and assignments. There will be tons to do. The ideal PLTW student is one that is motivated, completes assignments in a timely manner, studies hard for their exams, and likes science,” Underwood said.

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