Biomedical Sciences Program | Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School

Biomedical Sciences Program


  • A four-year certificate program focused on human physiology, medicine, research processes and bioinformatics
  • Innovative STEM curricula developed by Project Lead the Way, a national leader in STEM education
  • Project-based learning to prepare for college and careers in STEM fields
  • Project Lead the Way's curricula is recognized by college partners. Achieve high scores on the PLTW end-of-year exam for college credit
  • Enter the program as a freshman and graduate with a minimum of 6.5 years of science
  • Options to take individual courses without full program​ enrollment

Scope and Sequence

The program integrates with required science curricula as follows: 


  • Honors biology
  • Principles of Biomedical Sciences (full course description below)


  • Honors Chemistry
  • Alameda County Science Fair Project


  • Human Body Systems (full course description below)
  • AP Biology


  • Medical Interventions OR AP Chemistry (full course description below)
  • Biomedical Innovation (full course description below)

​Additionally, students may opt to take Physics/AP Physics

Principles of Biomedical Sciences

As part of the first course, explore the factors that led to the death of a fictional person and investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life.

Investigate various health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease, hypercholesterolemia and infectious disease. The activities and projects introduce you to human physiology, medicine and research processes. This course provides an overview of all the courses in the biomedical sciences program and lays the scientific foundation for subsequent courses. It is a five-unit freshman course offered spring semester in lieu of Health Education. You may also take Honors Biology as part of the program freshman year.

Human Body Systems

In Human Body Systems, the second course, design experiments, investigate the structure and functions of the human body and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions. Work through real world cases to solve medical mysteries.

Examine the interactions of human body systems as you explore identity, power, movement, protection and homeostasis. Design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human body and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, flex and voluntary action and respiration. Exploring science in action, build organs and tissues on a skeletal mannequin, work through interesting real-world cases and play the role of a biomedical professional to solve medical mysteries. This 10-unit course is offered to juniors, along with AP Biology. This course is available to students who are not participants in the program.

Medical Interventions or AP Chemistry

Medical Interventions:
Investigate the variety of interventions involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Get exposed to the wide range of inventions related to Immunology, Surgery, Genetics, Pharmacology, Medical Devices, and Diagnostics.

Investigate a variety of interventions involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease as you follow the life of a fictitious family. The course is a "how-to" manual for maintaining overall health and homeostasis in the body. Explore how to prevent and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code of human DNA; prevent, diagnose and treat cancer; and, learn how to prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Senior participants take this 10-unit course simultaneously with the biomedical sciences program Capstone Course. This course is available to students who are not program participants.

AP Chemistry:
The AP Chemistry course provides students with a college-level foundation to support future advanced coursework in chemistry. Students cultivate their understanding of chemistry through inquiry-based investigations, as they explore topics such as: atomic structure, intermolecular forces and bonding, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium. This course requires students to engage in laboratory investigations. This includes a minimum of 16 hands-on labs, at least six of which are inquiry based.

Biomedical Innovation

Finally, in the capstone course of the Biomedical Sciences program, apply your knowledge and skills to answer questions or solve problems related to the biomedical sciences. Design innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century as you work through progressively challenging open-ended problems. Develop an independent project and shadow or intern with a mentor or advisor from a local university, hospital, physician’s office, or other relevant professional environment.

Address topics such as clinical medicine, physiology, biomedical engineering and public health. Throughout the course, you are expected to present your work to an audience of STEM professionals. Take this 10-unit course in senior year during collaboration simultaneously with Medical Interventions or AP Chemistry.

Internships are not guaranteed through this course, but students are strongly encouraged to apply and participate based on their qualifications. The STEM Chair helps students with the search process and with their applications.