Take Students on a Biomedical Science Tour of Europe

Heidi Hisrich teaches all four PLTW Biomedical Science courses at Richmond High School in Richmond, Indiana. She is a Master Teacher for Medical Interventions and earned her Master of Arts in teaching from Earlham College.

I have long been interested in the history of medicine and intrigued by how the knowledge and tools we take for granted were once discovered. This past year, I worked with EF Education First, an international company that specializes in student travel. Together we created a custom tour designed with PLTW Biomedical Science students in mind. “A Biomedical History of Europe” will involve nine days of travel in London and Paris.

In Paris, students will visit iconic sites such as Notre Dame and the Place de la Concorde, in addition to many other locations linked to medical history. We’ll go to Marie and Pierre Curie’s laboratory and learn the history of radiation and cancer treatment. We’ll tour the Pasteur Museum to examine how vaccination methods and pasteurization were developed. On our “Sewer Tour,” we will see how Paris improved sanitation through improved waste disposal over a millennium.

Our time in London will include sight-seeing – visiting Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace – but will also have student-selected extras including a “Jack the Ripper Walking Tour.” Excursions linked to medicine include a genetics workshop at the London Zoo, a walking tour of London’s health care system, a visit to the old operating theatre, a trip to the Florence Nightingale Museum, and more.

As a biomedical science teacher, learning this history and seeing these sites firsthand will be a dream come true. For my students, this is the trip of a lifetime. It will enlarge their world view and feed their passion for medicine. Sixty-seven of Richmond High School’s PLTW Biomedical Science students will be traveling with students from two other schools in early June of 2019. I would love to have even more PLTW Biomedical Science teachers and their students join us in this amazing opportunity. In addition, other teachers are planning trips in late June 2019 and July 2019 and are looking for teachers with whom to partner.

The tour is customized and private, so it is not available to the general public. However, you can see details of the trip here. You can also find other interested teachers and coordinate dates and groups by joining our Facebook group.

PLTW Summit 2017 is coming up in October in Orlando, Florida. There will be many incredible sessions for anyone connected with PLTW to attend. I will be offering a session about this trip abroad and would love to invite anyone interested to come and connect with other teachers who want to participate. To learn more about the PLTW Summit, visit pltw.org/summit. I look forward to seeing you there!

PLTW’s blog is intended to serve as a forum for ideas and perspectives from across our network. The opinions expressed are those of each guest author.