(NATHAN PIEDAD / EYE OF THE TIGER)
With the switch to distance learning, the capstone course for the Biomedical Program, Biomedical Innovations, has undergone a lot of readjustments and sacrifices to finish out the school year.
In a typical school year Biomedical Innovations students study problems in the biomedical sciences and work to find solutions to health challenges of the 21st century. At the end of the semester, students would have a final project to present to an audience of local business and healthcare representatives.
This project takes months of planning and communication with a university, hospital, physician’s office, or industry and now, due to COVID-19, students have had to modify their approach to the project or completely start from scratch.
For one senior, Jazzy Kittle, she found herself forced to start a new project. Her original idea was to hold an art therapy event to study the effects of art therapy on grief, which is not possible now that group gatherings are prohibited.
“After the rest of the school year was cancelled, I bounced some ideas off [Biomedical teacher Erin] Granucci and changed my project to focus on high school seniors who had lost the rest of their high school experience,” Kittle said. “I asked for participants over social media to contribute in creating a photo collage of the class of 2020 to donate to the school.”
Not all students had to completely give up on their original project though. Senior Jadin Duink only had to make a few adjustments.
“Since my project is an engineering design, the leave from school hasn’t affected my overall project. I am having to utilize some different materials and not be able to have as much hands on help with building my prototype and testing it,” Duink said. “Despite this, I should be able to continue and finish my project as I would’ve if school was normal.”
For the Biomedical Innovations students, giving a final presentation to an audience of classmates and healthcare professionals for their project is a big deal, and that’s the one thing that’s harder to get around. Granucci said she is unsure of how to proceed and hasn’t informed her students of what presentations are going to look like now.
Regardless of COVID-19 causing an abundance of problems for students, it’s also given all Biomed students a chance to study the disease and its effects. Students have been reading articles and relating the virus to their own curriculum.
“We’ve been going bit by bit to change things,” Kittle said.