Students enjoy a fun hands-on lab activity in Mrs. Adam's new Principles of Biomedical Sciences course. (Anna)
Students enjoy a fun hands-on lab activity in Mrs. Adam's new Principles of Biomedical Sciences course.

Anna

New Classes Bring New Opportunities

January 22, 2020

With about ninety certified faculty members and over seventy-five rooms devoted to the education of students, Martinsville High School offers many academic opportunities to its student body of just under 1,400 students. 

Several new courses have been added at Martinsville High School, bringing the total number to over 230 courses. These new courses include Plant and Soil Science, Landscape Management, Industrial, Automation and Robotics, Principles of Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing, Child Development, Advanced Child Development, HSS II, Fashion and Textiles, Early Childhood Ed II, Principles of Biomedical Sciences, Digital Applications and Responsibility, and Advanced Mass Media.

Principles of Biomedical Sciences, more commonly known as Biomed, is taught by Ms. Adams. It is a two-trimester course offered to grades 9 through 11 that allows students to apply themselves to “the study of human medicine, research processes and… bioinformatics” through several interactive projects. This class counts as a directed elective, (an elective for all diplomas) and fulfills the Core 40 Science requirement.

In the first few units of this course, students learned how to use forensics to identify the factors that contributed to the fabricated death of a person who died from questionable reasons. After determining the cause of death, the remaining units cover the investigation of “lifestyle choices and medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life” based on the health issues that the deceased possessed. 

In addition to the scientific aspects of the course, part of the curriculum is career research, which exposes students to careers they may not have been previously aware of. 

When asked what one thing she would like her students to take away from this class, Ms. Adams said “collaboration.” She then went on to say, “If you can’t work effectively with people who are different from you, you are going to have a really hard time in college and in life.” 

Biology I is required to take this class, and responsibility, accountability, and participation are expected. Biomed is a great class to take to gain more scientific knowledge while developing important team-building skills. 

Advanced Mass Media, taught by Mr. Perry, is another class that has been added. Although nothing is officially required for this class, it is suggested that students be in Honors English and have at least a “C” average. It is a one trimester class that fulfills an elective for all diplomas, and it fulfills an English/Language Arts credit if the student also takes an AP or dual credit course. This course takes many of the core principles found in Mass Media and expands them as students enhance prior knowledge through the hands-on projects of the class.

This class will expand prior knowledge from Mass Media and make students better prepared for Print Publications or Radio/TV Broadcasting. Students will learn how to use Indesign and will learn advanced photography principles. 

This course allows students the time to more thoroughly cover the topics in Mass Media with the help of three to five projects, depending on time, for this project-based class. All the projects and skills learned in this course culminate into putting together a Redline news spread, and, if time allows, Mr. Perry even plans to include a video project. 

This hands-on class will help prepare students who plan to take creative courses in college. According to Mr. Perry, journalism is “a one-person show,” and this class is going to make students “more well-rounded when it comes to learning how to do kind of everything because that’s the way journalism is now.” 

Even if students decide they do not want to pursue a journalism career, they will be able to apply the information learned in this class, such as photography and writing, in their everyday lives. 

Many of these new courses at Martinsville High School may help clarify what potential college or life careers that students want to pursue. Hands-on classes such as Principles of Biomedical Sciences and Advanced Mass Media will especially be helpful when determining potential careers.

Mr. Perry said, “When you can do something project-based, and you find that you either have a passion or a knack for it, that opens up doors.” Mindsets might change, and students may be able to determine what they do or do not wish to do with their lives. These new courses are great opportunities that students would greatly benefit from taking!

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