The Magnet Priority Lottery Application for the 2017-2018 school year will open on October 14, 2016 on the Northwest Suburban Integration School website. All students who live in the eight qualifying school districts need to apply through the NWSISD application site, even students who would normally attend Coon Rapids High School.
Imagine the scene: it's the first day of school and a group of Coon Rapids High School (CRHS) students walk into a fresh classroom that'll be home to their brand new Principles of Biomedical Sciences class. As the students find their seats, their eyes fall on a tragic scene.
"[The students] were immediately captivated," CRHS biomedical program coordinator Leah Sams said.
The riveting scene they witnessed was that of Anna Garcia, a fictional person portrayed by a mannequin, who lay deceased on the floor. The area was sealed off with crime tape, furniture knocked over, and blood, vomit and pills littered the floor near the body. For the next two trimesters, students used crime scene evidence and Garcia's medical history to determine how she died.
The Biomedical Sciences Program, a part of the national Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program, debuted at CRHS this school year and transitioned the school into a biomedical specialty school.
Why offer biomedical sciences? According to CRHS Principal Annette Ziegler, data suggests that job opportunities in the healthcare field will increase by 62 percent between 2010 and 2020.
"It's a growing field with lots of different career opportunities, " she said. "And it's of great interest to our students."
From nursing and medical research to medical device manufacturing and forensics, there are nearly endless possibilities under the biomedical sciences career umbrella.
Ziegler and Sams also pointed out that Minnesota is home to major medical companies such as Boston Scientific, Medtronic and Health Partners.
"With the education they receive [in this program], some students may be able to get an entry level job at one of these corporations while they work toward a college degree," Ziegler said.
Speaking of college, thanks to being part of PLTW, this year's Principles of Biomedical Sciences class has already had an end-of-course assessment, which, if a student scores high enough, will allow the class to count for college credit.
How did CRHS' first Principles of Biomedical Sciences class fare? A whopping 87 percent of the students who took the test passed, Sams said, meaning they met the testing criteria necessary for college credit from the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State University - Mankato and St. Cloud State University.
"This program gets them ready for college while they are still in the comfort of a high school classroom," Sams said. "The teachers are still there to challenge them, and they can do it at a time where it doesn't cost a lot of money."
The Principles of Biomedical Sciences class was the first of four advanced courses to be implemented in the coming years, with one new class being added each year. Next year's new course is Human Body Systems, followed by Medical Interventions in 2015-16 and then the capstone Biomedical Innovations after that. A total of seven sections will be available for the first and second year classes next school year, Sams said.