Systems Biology and Systems Medicine Curriculum in Middle and High Schools?
By Dana Riley Black, Director of ISB’s Center for Inquiry Science
Healthcare continues to be listed as a “high-demand” field, meaning there continue to be significant and projected employment opportunities in the field. A recent employment gap analysis by Washington State released on April 3 suggests a projected deficit of 472 healthcare jobs filled annually in the state (see: http://www.wtb.wa.gov/HighDemandFields.asp). As a result, many middle and high schools are turning to curricula that introduce students to careers in the healthcare industry.
On April 25, ISB’s educators co-hosted a teacher workshop focused on introducing a national biomedical science curriculum designed by the national vendor, Project Lead the Way (see: http://www.pltw.org). A key purpose of the curricula is to introduce students to health care careers. As systems biology and systems medicine will become a ubiquitous component of the healthcare field, ISB is interested in partnering with organizations like Project Lead the Way to learn more about how best to infuse such curriculum with appropriate aspects of systems biology and systems medicine.
To help in provide perspective of systems biology, ISB scientists contributed in the workshop. Postdoctoral Fellow Hannah Cox gave a keynote address related to one of ISB’s Family Genomics projects, and a cohort of ISB staff participated in a panel discussion purposed with introducing teachers to careers in systems biology.