Signature Program Students Complete Projects Like Pros

Signature Program Students Complete Projects Like Pros
Shawnee Mission School District

Students in 8th through 11th grade and their family members have a chance to learn more about unique programs of study available to high school. A virtual info night SMSD’s Signature Programs begins at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Click here to learn more about the virtual event.

Here’s a look at what students have been doing in Medical Health Science and in Engineering classes:

Medical Health Science

Students in the Medical Health 1 Signature Program at the Center for Academic Achievement are getting real world learning experiences in the hospital simulation lab.

(Some secondary students are currently able to attend some lab-based classes that require specialized equipment or facilities on an as-needed basis).

Medical Science 1 is a course offered at the Center for Academic Achievement within the Medical Science Signature Program. Recently teams of two were challenged and called to a simulated scene where they found an unconscious patient. The teams had to access the patient and determine the correct course of action and care.

The students checked vitals including blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate. They asked questions and documented the data. To be successful, students had to demonstrate good time management and communication between team members.

“These exercises and practicing with real equipment and a state-of-the-art professional mannequin help us prepare for real world situations,” Piper Borgman, SM Northwest student shared.

While the patient’s vitals are critical, Connie Gandy, Medical Science instructor hopes students are learning empathy and compassion, even for simulated patients.

 “Each person is an individual, you are not treating statistics or numbers, you are treating a patient,” she reminded students. Gandy sees these practice sessions building confidence, independence, and teamwork.

The opportunity to work with the specialized equipment was a help to students, Riley Hargrove noted.

“It was cool and so much easier in the lab,” Hargrove expressed.

Students in one scenario were preparing to transport a patient to the hospital where another team was preparing to receive that patient to differentiate pre-hospital and in-hospital care. If students decided to transport, the assessments they completed indicated the patient is stable enough to be transported to the hospital and will undergo further in-hospital assessment by another team of students.  If the students decided the patient is not stable enough to travel, from their assessments, they will continue to render aid.

The Medical Science Signature Program’s curriculum includes an introductory course, Exploring Medical Science Careers, that is taken at a student’s home high school. 


Engineering Design and Development (EDD) students presented their designs in a trade show format this week. These students have engineered solutions for problems they have chosen to solve. Presentations included:

●      A squeegee cleaning system

●      An automated plant watering device

●      Plastic wrap trimming solution for restaurants

●      A paint cart for Midtown Sign Inc.

Students presented their work to family members, administrators, and guests. The students were evaluated by judges on innovativeness, marketability, and the quality of their presentation. Leading projects will be eligible for nomination for Innovator Awards at the KC STEM Alliance EDD showcase.