Course Syllabus

Course Syllabus


PLTW Biomedical Innovations       

Central Academy of Technology and Arts

Shonna Black, M.Ed, BSN, RN, NCSN



Course Description:

In the final course of the PLTW Biomedical Science sequence, students build on the knowledge and skills gained from previous courses to design innovative solutions for the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century. Students address topics ranging from public health and biomedical engineering to clinical medicine and physiology. Additionally, students have the opportunity to engage in an independent design project.

Course Objectives and Pacing Guide        BI objectives and pacing guide.pdf

Honors Statement: 

Biomedical Innovations is an honors level course.   Students earning credit for an Honors level course receive an elevated number of Quality Points for their Grade Point Average.  

Students choosing the Honors level course should be aware that this Honors level course will include:  

Required extension opportunities that are directly related to the Standard Course of Study.  This includes additional content and more challenging coursework and assessments.  Students will be expected to demonstrate higher levels of understanding for grades.  Projects and presentations will be more in depth. 

Students will have to focus and be engaged regularly to master the content. The expectation that students can move through the coursework at an accelerated pace and students experiencing difficulty should quickly seek guidance from their teacher on how they can be more successful. 

Grades:   The following scale will be used to determine grading.

50%     Projects

30%     Classwork

20%     Quizzes/Labs/Conduct

Grading: I update my grade book regularly. If you see a “1,” this signifies that the assignment is still open, has not been properly submitted, and may still be submitted (think of it as a place holder). If there is a “0,” this signifies that the assignment is closed, and may not be made up.   In the adult world, your boss will likely not accept late assignments.  School is your job - treat it as such.  See me for any extenuating circumstances.

Accessing grades

Parents can access grades through (Parent Portal online, progress report and report cards every @3 weeks).


Tutoring will be available by appointment; I am available most mornings prior to the start of the school day.  I can also meet in person or virtually during my planning period, or right after the end of the school day.  I will also make some times available on Fridays.

Materials needed

**3 subject spiral notebook  (COVID-19 option - if you wish to keep most notes/info in google docs shared folder, then a 1 subject notebook  will be fine)

1 inch1.5 inch 3 ring binder (soft/flexible ones are great)

Pens/pencils/markers (due to COVID-19 restrictions, no sharing of materials is permitted in the classroom)

Charged Chromebook and charger


  • Each unit of Biomedical Innovations is linked to a resource module in Canvas. The resource modules contain class PowerPoints, vocabulary, video clips, chapters from digital textbooks, scholarly articles, unit study guides and more. (Students can access these modules using the home page for this course.)
  • UCPS subscribes to a variety of resources for students to use in all their classes located on the student "Start up Page" linked to the UCPS web page. Students will find access to many resources including videos, current events, and software for creating digital projects.(Click here to access Start Up Page Link (Links to an external site.))
  • EmpowerED Family Portal:  UCPS online resources are available by grade level and subject!(Click here to access the EmpowerED Family Portal (Links to an external site)).
    • You will find links to UCPS provided resources as well as guides instructing you how to access these materials.
  • CATA provides a wide variety of print and digital resources through our media center. Students will find resources for researching any topic, writing citations, and a lot more. (Click here to access The Media Center (Links to an external site.))

 Assessments and AssignmentsAssignments include - but are not limited to - projects, notes, lab work, individual class assignments and group work.

Make up work rules procedures

Late work

ALL assignments are due according to the canvas set due date. Assignments not turned in on time will drop 1/2 credit the first day and zero the second day. If there are special circumstances/absences that prevent work from being turned in on time, please see the teacher on an individual basis. Any test that a student misses should be made up the day they return to school. In the event of multiple days missed, students should schedule a time with the teacher to make up the test. This should be in a 5 day time period.  During this time, a “1” will be entered in Powerschool as a placeholder.

Group work

This class is heavily weighted with group projects. In the event that a student misses class for any reason, he/she should communicate with his/her group. In the event a student does not pull his/her weight on a project, the grade will reflect the lack of effort.  Students who do not participate will earn a zero. All parts of the project are due on the assigned date by all members of the group.

Classroom Expectations

Absolutely no cell phones in class unless prior approval given for project use.

Classroom Rules and Expectations

  • Be respectful at all times to your teacher, classmates and school.  
  • ONE VOICE at a time; do not speak out of turn, or have side conversations when teacher/classmates are speaking.  Raise your hand.  
  • No food is allowed in class at any time, students may have something to drink as long as it is in a closed container.  NO GLASS WATER BOTTLES.
  • This classroom is a lab and classroom; therefore there will be absolutely no brushing hair or applying makeup. Do not spray perfumes and other scented items; many people have allergies to chemicals contained in these items, INCLUDING YOUR TEACHER!
  • If you use something in class, please return it to its place.  Keep your work space clean.
  • Bring charged Chromebook and charger, as well as notebook daily.  
  • Students are expected to be in their seats or logged in to your virtual learning platform and begin work when the bell rings
  • Wear required clothing on lab days; this is a safety requirement. There is also no eating, drinking, or horseplay. You will be asked to leave the classroom if you are not prepared for lab, and your grade for the assignment will be a “0.”
  • Remain in seat until the teacher dismisses you.
  • Group assignments are required for this class; participation will be graded individually.


At CATA, instruction is very important. All students are expected to be in their classrooms and ready to receive instruction before the tardy bell rings for each class. Following the tardy bell, students who are not in class must report to the front office for a tardy pass if they tardy to first period.  During the rest of the day teachers will mark student tardy in the PowerSchool Attendance System.   Only students with a Tardy Pass will be admitted after the tardy bell rings for first period.  There is absolutely no food allowed in the classrooms.  Students may not bring in food. 

Tardies will be recorded as unexcused unless an excuse can be verified by staff. Tardies will result in the following penalties:

All students must report to the office when tardy to first period and to class the rest of the day.  Teachers will mark students tardy who are late to 2nd period, 3rd period, and 4th period.  If a student is tardy twice in third period on Cougar Time days (Once before class and once after lunch), then the teacher will  mark them tardy one time in Power School and write it up as a minor incident in Educator Handbook for the second tardy of the period.   

1st/2nd Tardy:  Warning from an administrator in the front office (1st period) and the teacher in the classroom (all periods)

3rd Tardy:  Warning from an administrator in the front office (1st period) and the teacher in the classroom (all periods).  The teacher will contact the parent on the third tardy by phone.  

4th/5th Tardy:  Warning from an administrator in the front office (1st period) and the teacher in the classroom (all periods). The teacher will submit a discipline referral to the administration and 1 day ASD with administration.  The administration will contact the parent.  

6th/7th Tardy:  Warning from an administrator in the front office (1st period) and the teacher in the classroom (all periods).  The teacher will submit a discipline referral to the administration and 2 days ASD with administration.  The administration will contact the parent.  

8th Tardy: Warning from an administrator in the front office (1st period) and the teacher in the classroom (all periods).  The teacher will submit a discipline referral to the administration and 3 days ASD.  The administration will set up a parent conference, create a written plan, and possible additional consequences. 

  • Please note that administrator warnings will only come from an administrator in the office for first period tardies.  Please be sure to give warnings to students in all other periods. 

Bathroom policy: Students are expected to use the restroom before and after classes. In the event the student needs to use the bathroom they are expected to sign in/out and take a pass while in the halls.

Students are asked not to approach the teacher before class to use the bathroom, they should just go and be back before the bell rings. Students are asked not to ask to go to the bathroom until words of the day are gone over and the directions have gone over for that days lesson.

Lab safety rulescan be viewed at the following website. Should you have any questions please email the instructor. All students of my class should follow these laboratory safety rules at all times during labs. (Links to an external site.)

Academic Integrity/Honor Code:

In an effort to increase the student’s critical thinking skills, they will be frequently asked to complete projects or assignments, perhaps even in groups. When working in groups, it is still the expectation that each student should complete their own work and not copy another student’s work. “Googling” and copying/pasting material from online or elsewhere is absolutely unacceptable and constitutes a violation of the school’s honor code, unless the source is being cited elsewhere in the document. Assignments should always be in the students own wording. Per the CATA code of conduct in the student handbook, an honor code violation will result in a grade of zero and a parent contact (per the CATA handbook).

Please note that student activity is logged while in Canvas. This includes a log of student activities during on-line tests and quizzes.  Students are not allowed to leave the testing window during assessments.  Doing so is considered cheating and will be handled as set forth in the CATA handbook.

Canvas: The majority of assignments not kept in your notebook will be submitted on our "learning platform," Canvas.  Assignments can be submitted a variety of ways including, uploading files, typing into text boxes, and sharing Google documents/presentations.  Students will be shown how to submit assignments on Canvas as well as create a shared Google folder for submitting Google documents and presentations on Canvas at the beginning of the semester.  Individual assignments will indicate which method of submission on Canvas is expected.  If students need a refresher or have questions, they can access the Canvas Student Guide (Links to an external site). for specific instructions.  It is the student's responsibility to ensure assignments are submitted on time and to contact the instructor if there is a problem.

The best way to communicate with Ms. Black is via email:

Notes: I will do my best to respond in a timely matter.  My cut-off time for same day response is 9 p.m.  


Course Summary:

Date Details Due