For students in the Westwood High School Health Science Academy, the interactive skills offered within the four branches of study lay a strong foundation for certifications, college credits and a pathway to a health science career.
The four pathways consist of Biomedical Science through Project Lead the Way (PLTW), Health Science Theory and Practice, Health Sciences and Sports Medicine. Certifications in CPR, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and Pharmacy Technician Training and are all available through the Westwood Health Science Academy, allowing students to leave high school with career options already available.
“Career and Technical Education allows our students to explore interests outside of what they’re required to take,” said Kathryn Trevino, Westwood health science teacher. “We do a lot of career exploration and our students leave with skills they can use in research labs or in college-level labs.”
The college-level labs bring real-world applications and lessons to the classroom, including extracting DNA materials and developing a possible diagnosis by analyzing patient symptoms.
“I feel like we’re learning about things as they are happening. When we learned about viruses, we had a short lesson about the Zika virus and what’s happening with it now,” Westwood Junior Valerie Quach said. “We still keep things pretty relevant even though we have a set curriculum.”
Business partnerships and interactive experiences poise future graduates to enter college and career settings with the preparation needed for success. Internships and job shadowing experiences also gives students a first-hand look at what a potential career would be like.
“I enjoy being in the health science academy because I wasn’t sure what career I wanted to go into until I found my health science classes,” Iris Kim Junior said. “I am never bored and the classes really instigated my passion for healthcare. I really want a future as a radiologist.”