Students showed off their medical lab knowledge during the Biomedical Science Student Showcase at Aiken Career and Technology Center on April 27.
This biomedical science program, which is in its first year, allows students to learn about different topics, such as forensics, differences in cancer cells and non-cancer cells, how diabetes affects the kidneys and how to compare different DNA samples from a crime scene, all of which were on display at the showcase for parents and community members to see.
“I think tonight is going well,” said Dr. Christi Palladino, the biomedical science teacher, at the event. “The real goal here is to be able to show, especially their families, but also the community just what they’ve accomplished. Because you do a lot inside the classroom, but you don’t always get to show that off. So it’s nice because every time I see them talk about it, I see that comfort level and I see more of their passion starting to come out. That makes me excited as a teacher, because they love science and it’s OK to love science and it’s exciting to see.”
Palladino said the curriculum hands-on, and the students enjoy it because it allows them to get a lot of lab experience and see how the science applies to real-world scenarios.
“They see the real-world implication of everything that they do,” Palladino said. “So I get to see them light up because instead of just reading about it in a book, they’re actually doing that. They’re doing the DNA analysis, they’re staining cells. Next year they’ll be editing pieces of DNA, it’s amazing what they can do.”
Max Perkins, a 10th grader from Midland Valley High School, gave a presentation on forensics and how people can be identified through their bones. He enjoyed discussing his topic because he has an interest in forensics and solving problems.
“It was scary at first,” Perkins said of presenting to the audience. “But once I got use to explaining each thing over the time and then asking so many questions, I got used to explaining each process we went through to test the bones, so it was fun telling everybody.”
For I’Layna Highsmith, a 10th grader at Aiken High School, she said presenting to everyone was a little nerve wracking at first.
“It was very scary because i’m not very much of an outspoke person, (I’m) very quite and shy,” Highsmith said. “But overall it’s kind of good to actually teach people what we do in class.”
At the end of the two-year program, Palladino said the students would be able to earn biotechnician assistant certification (BACE) and become a certified medical laboratory assistant (CMLA).
“We are also planning to add biomedical research and biomanufacturing capstone courses in the future,” Palladino said. “This is a growing field and we are hoping to become the pipeline of local talent that this industry needs.”