Students & Parents

Sanford Research - Project Lead the Way BiosciencesSanford Research is excited to support all PLTW programs; however, the information below specifically pertains to the PLTW Biomedical Sciences which aligns with our professional expertise.

Why should I consider the PLTW Biomedical Sciences program?
The Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program provides students with an understanding of the role of the biomedical sciences in the modern world and prepares them for careers in the rapidly growing biomedical sciences field. The four BMS courses present a broad foundation in science and healthcare and include specialized knowledge in such areas as: molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, anatomy, and public health. Students also gain an awareness of the social, legal, and ethical issues surrounding technological advances related to the biomedical sciences. While the coursework is intentionally rigorous with an emphasis on scientific principles and medical research, the students are exposed to key concepts that will transfer to many fields. Students who complete the Biomedical Sciences courses will graduate being able to do the following:

  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Think critically.
  • Practice professional conduct.
  • Work effectively in teams.
  • Understand how medical and scientific research is conducted and funded.
  • Understand the interdisciplinary nature of science, healthcare, mathematics, and language arts.
The PLTW Biomedical Sciences program uses a combination of activity-, project-, and problem-based learning styles to engage students as they learn to solve problems, participate as part of a team, lead teams, conduct research, analyze data, and learn through fieldwork.
Do I need to take all the Biomedical Sciences courses?
While the courses are sequential, there is no predetermined number of courses which need to be completed. However, college recognition and scholarship opportunities may require a minimal number of completed courses.
Can I get college credit or scholarships for PLTW courses?
Yes! Augustana College believes in the mission of PLTW and seeks to recognize students who have participated in PLTW courses. Students who have completed PLTW courses are eligible for Augustana’s PLTW scholarship  (one-time award for incoming Augustana students; $1,000 total).
Students who have successfully completed PLTW courses at a certified PLTW school can also apply to receive college credit from Augustana (available for any student; $50 per credit).  Augustana offers credit for the following PLTW Biomedical Sciences  and Engineering  courses:
  • Biomedical Sciences: Principles of Biomedical Sciences & Human Body Systems (must complete both)
  • Biomedical Sciences: Medical Interventions
  • Biomedical Sciences: Biomedical Innovation
  • Engineering: Introduction to Engineering Design & Principles of Engineering (must complete both)
  • Engineering: Aerospace Engineering
  • Engineering: Biotechnical Engineering
  • Engineering: Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • Engineering: Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Engineering: Digital Electronics
  • Engineering: Engineering Design & Development
To earn credit, students must: (1) achieve a minimal grade of 80%; (2) score 6 or higher on the end-of-course exam (when applicable); (3) complete the Student Information section of the course credit application form; (4) obtain a verifying signature by the PLTW teacher, and; (5) submit an official high school transcript. For more information, visit the Augustana website.
How do I find out if my school district offers PLTW?
Contact the administrative offices of your school district for the most accurate information. Currently, PLTW is offered at 15 middle and high schools across 11 school districts in South Dakota.

Biomedical Sciences (High School)
Mitchell (CTE Academy)
Rapid City (Central & Stevens)
Sioux Falls (Cte Academy)
Todd County
Watertown (Northeast Technical HS)

Engineering (High School)
Harding County
Mitchell (CTE Academy) 
Sioux Falls (Cte Academy)
Watertown (Northeast Technical HS)

Gateway to Technology (MiddleSchool)
Brookings (George S Mickelson)

What are the PLTW Biomedical Sciences Courses?
The rigorous and relevant four-course PLTW Biomedical Science sequence allows students to investigate the roles of biomedical professionals as they study the concepts of human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health. Students engage in activities like investigating the death of a fictional person, learning content in the context of real-world cases. They examine the structures and interactions of human body systems and explore the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, all while working collaboratively to understand and design solutions to the most pressing health challenges of today and the future. Each course in the Biomedical Science sequence builds on the skills and knowledge students gain in the preceding courses.
Principles of Biomedical Science: 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.  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.

Human Body Systems: Students examine the interactions of body systems as they explore identity, communication, power, movement, protection and homeostasis.  Students design data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal manikin, work through interesting real world cases and often play the role of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries.

Medical Interventions: Students investigate the variety of interventions involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease as they follow the lives of a fictitious family.  The course is a "How-To" manual for maintaining overall health and homeostasis in the body as students explore: how to prevent and fight infection; how to screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; how to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer; and how to prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail.  Through these scenarios, students are exposed to the wide range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices and diagnostics. Lifestyle choices and preventive measures are emphasized throughout the course as well as the important roles scientific thinking and engineering design play in the development of interventions of the future.

Biomedical Innovation: In this capstone course, students apply their knowledge and skills to answer questions or solve problems related to the biomedical sciences.  Students design innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century as they work through progressively challenging open-ended problems, addressing topics such as clinical medicine, physiology, biomedical engineering, and public health.  They have the opportunity to work on an independent project and may work with a mentor or adviser from a university, hospital, physician's office, or industry. Throughout the course, students are expected to present their work to an adult audience that may include representatives from the local business and health care community.