The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

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Attempt 2 at Bio and Community Health

The workload is easily manageable and the class is fun. “It’s my favorite class in the whole entire world,”

An old class returned to the course catalog this school year, Bio and Community Health. The class is designed to be career-oriented and give students an introduction to the medical field. It gives students a “real-world taste of what doctors go through” and how they diagnose people Bio and Community Health teacher Matthew Scott said.

The class, originally taught by Mckinleyville High School science teacher Adam Canepa, has returned for the first time in five years. The class aims to give students an introduction to the health field and the various positions within it: access to knowledge of health impacts on an individual, community, and population, as well as the ability to apply what they learn to their lives.

The class is designed to be flexible in its curriculum and cater to student interests. If students want to learn about a specific field, then the class will spend more time in that section of the health field but if the class is not interested in a subject, then it’ll move on to a different one. The class also incorporates current updates in the field. If a breakthrough occurs or some new invention is made, the class will make a slight detour to learn about it. Incorporating new medical information is one of the things Matthew Scott enjoys about the class.

A shared interest amongst students is in genetics and its related disorders. Genetics is all about who you are and “What makes you, you,” senior Ell Franklin said.

One of the class’s goals is to introduce students to one of the countless jobs in this field. “A lot of the time we want to go into the medical field and we think nurses and doctors, but there are so many other pathways and avenues that we can go into and I think this class is really trying to open that door,” AP Biology teacher Steve Hoffman said. People could get into nuclear medicine, be x-ray technicians, or nurses’ assistants.

To explore these plentiful avenues, Scott plans to expose his students to these diverse careers through field trips and by inviting guest speakers from the field to share their wide-ranging experiences.

According to students in the class, the workload is easily manageable and the class is fun. “It’s my favorite class in the whole entire world,” senior Emma Martin said. The information they learned in class is already applicable to everyday life. One of the first topics they covered was translating medical lingo into layman’s terms.

When asked if students had to choose between Bio and Community Health or AP Bio, Scott and Hoffman offered valuable insight into the strengths of each class. Both agreed that AP Bio prepares students for the rigor of college biology courses and the inner functions of the body while Bio and Community Health act as a practical segue from high school to the medical field.

For students interested in going into medicine, Scott recommends taking CP Bio, followed by chemistry, either Bio and Community Health or anatomy and then the other option for the student’s four years of science classes.

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