Walnut Students Complete PTLW Biomedical Sciences Program

By Kelli Gile

WALNUTFor 20 Walnut High School seniors, years of tremendous dedication and hard work in a rigorous biomedical sciences program they began as sophomores have paid finally off.

The teens were presented with white lab coats and honor medallions marking the completion of the International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme/Project Lead the Way (IBCP-PLTW) Biomedical Sciences Program.

“I’m excited, I’ve been waiting for this day for three years!” said Samuel Chien, 18, before the White Coat Ceremony held Tuesday evening.

Congratulations to the following Class of 2018 honorees: Jordyn Arce, Chriselle Badua, Brian Chang, Selena Chen, Kevin Cheng, Samuel Chien, Jocelyn Do, Isaac Duran, Emily Gehringer, Audrey Kuo, Alicia Lu, Michael Lu, Arianha Montelongo, Jodee-Anne Pagusan, Janelle Pham, Gina Pinsakul, Omar Sultan, Aryaman Trikala, Aaron Tsay, and Brandon Tueng.

“These students are remarkable and exemplify why we have the best IBCP-PLTW Biomedical Sciences Program in the state,” said instructional dean Barbie Cole.

Additionally, three students received special awards for displaying exemplary effort during the course of the program: Brandon Yeung – Enthusiastic Learner, Samuel Chien – Excellence in Biomedical Science, and Chriselle Badua – Exemplary IB Learner.

PLTW teachers Chiara Morgan, Bryn Schultz, and Ellie Blanchard presented awards during the event attended by families, staff, and District officials.

The Walnut High students displayed knowledge, ability, and aptitude in the area of biomedical science.

Brandon Yueng said he discovered his career path during the program. The 17-year-old is looking at going into anesthesiology or cardiology.

“While we were studying the human body systems I did really well on the heart and circulation. So, I started getting more interested and then learned about it in our career journals,” he said.

Walnut High has also been selected as a 2018 PLTW Distinguished High School. The award is designed to honor schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in the PTLW program.
Since launching in 2013, Walnut High has remained the only school in the state to offer both IBCP with the PLTW Biomedical Sciences program as its career-related component.

There are currently only 179 IBCP schools worldwide, 96 in the United States, and three in California.

Being a part of this program has meant a lot to this group, Chien added.

“We’ve been together in so many classes, not just the IBCP program, and we’ve developed great friendships!”

The program requires students to complete four biomedical science courses and two IB diploma courses with end-of-year exams in each. Students also complete a personal and professional skills course, numerous service-learning projects, and a written reflective project.

The white lab coat is the distinctive dress of the biomedical scientist. Receiving or wearing the coat denotes that the wearer is not only deserving of the respect for his profession, but also an ethical, learned person of science.