The call on Friday was the start of a yearlong Principles of Biomedical Science curriculum that will introduce the students to professions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
When the call ended, Olson lifted a blue tarp to reveal a mock crime scene and a mannequin representing a fictional woman, Anna Garcia, on the stage in the room.
Investigating her demise will provide a framework for students to explore the various occupations open to them in high-tech fields.
“The whole program is aimed at students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program, because there are not enough qualified people for those professions,” Olson said. “We will link biology to careers in the real world.”
A Tracy fire department crew arrived at the mock crime scene at 1090 S. Central Parkway to demonstrate emergency response skills as part of the introduction to the course.
Firefighters took turns helping students perform CPR on the lifelike mannequin representing Garcia while Capt. Jim Haskell gave a commentary on what was playing out before them. He explained the process firefighters go through to get into their profession, as well as how to become an emergency medical technician.
“All year, you will be learning
about this poor dead lady,” Olson told the students.
When asked to consider how the victim might have died, students theorized about a drug overdose or a homicide. Olson said they would be investigating their theories with the help of guest lecturers, including a department of justice forensics expert and a crime-scene technician.
“I think this class is going to be pretty epic,” freshman Hamza Syed said. “I think it’s real good, all the investigation stuff.”
Fellow freshmen Giavanna Martinez and Hannah Bittar were surprised when they saw the crime scene being revealed.
“I took this class because I’m interested in this kind of science,” Bittar said. “I’m interested to see how it comes out. It’s not what I expected.”
Among the volunteers to help with CPR compressions during the crime-scene re-enactment was sophomore Rahil Sobhan, who said he enjoyed the realism of the lesson.
“It was interesting how they made the crime scene and how everything was so realistic,” he said. “I’m sure I’m going to have a lot of fun (in this class).”
Olson said she wanted to give her students hands-on experience throughout the course of the year.
Project Lead The Way offers research- and experience-based curriculum in which students can apply what they learn in their own way to solve problems. Mountain House High is using the program within its biomedical and engineering pathways.
“This program is really, really amazing,” Olson said. “It will help the kids be prepared for these jobs.”
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4225.