‘They just like getting their hands on stuff’
Area students might not realize there are hidden gems at Osseo Senior High School.
The school has several specialized programs that offer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related industry certification and articulated programming.
Students from the Osseo School District, as well as surrounding districts, can take part in the Emergency Medical Responder (Opportunities in Emergency Care) program, and Nursing Assistant program, Automotive Technology program and Project Lead the Way program.
Project Lead the Way
This program is engineering-based that involves STEM education and works with hands-on activities, projects and problem based learning. There are two courses that are offered right now — Introduction to Engineering Design and Principals of Engineering. There is also a robotics team co-curricular opportunity for students.
Jill Stewart-Kellar, AP/HP Support Specialist and Health Science Magnet Coordinator, said this program is in it’s second year at the school. “To get off the ground, Cargill actually provided us with a $35,000 grant,” she added. “They have a 3D printer and an entire lab set up. The student’s spring project is to design something they could see themselves using. Some are making cell phone cases.”
Instructor John Licciardi said he had five VEX robotics teams and three of those teams made it to the finals this year. “If I can do it right, we are going to be hosting a tournament at Osseo, the first one in the Twin Cities,” he added.
In two years, a Computer Science Engineering course will be introduced. “I’m expecting that to be a big course,” Licciardi said.
He added, “The kids love it. You can ask any student, they just like getting their hands on stuff. And that’s what we are here for.”
Students in this program can also earn articulated college credit at certain colleges and universities.
Another unique program offered is the Automotive Technology program. This program is the first in the nation to achieve program accreditation from NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, Inc.) using the new industry set standards for entry-level employment.
These students learn in a classroom and automotive lab setting. The 540-hour program allows the students to gain college credit at: Dunwoody College of Technology, Hennepin Technical College, Universal Technical Institute, University of Arkansas and WyoTech.
Stewart-Kellar said these students qualify for the ASE Maintenance Light Repair certification, which allows them to start as an entry-level automotive technician.
Matt Beukema, Automotive Instructor, said there are 140 students currently in the program.
For the first time the school participated in the State Finals Competition, where students had to diagnosis the vehicle, get it running and driving within 90 minutes.
To prepare for the competition Beukema said he made a vehicle not start 40 different ways for the students to fix. “They had to figure out within their class time how to get the vehicle running and moving,” he said.
The students also do real-life diagnosing. Students in the program learn the basic-level maintenance: brakes, heating and air conditioning, on board computer diagnosis, suspension and steering, advanced powertrains, hybrid electric vehicles, engine testing and complex repairs. Vehicles the students work on come from donations. People can donation their vehicles by visiting sites.google.com/a/apps.district279.org/automotive-technology/.
Beukema works with area dealerships as an “end goal.” He added, “I place my students with these dealerships before they leave the program. So, while they are still in the program they are working for these dealerships, which is an awesome way to get into the field.”
Emergency medial responder/OEC
Part of the Health Science programs, the Emergency Medical Responder (OEC) is a three-course series that meets for two periods a day for a full school year.
These students have clinical hours outside of the classroom and go to two four-camp experiences.
Stewart-Kellar said, “Every student has an over night run in an ambulance. So they are woken up at night and told their shift starts now, to get dressed now and they have to practice their skills under little to no sleep.”
Student Ruth Atinda said the first trimester students learn First Aid, CPR and how to bandage. The second trimester students learn oxygen and backboarding. The third trimester students get into learning how to become EMTs.
“We have state competitions and international competitions,” Ruth said.
The students are also able to learn on a high-fidelity simulator, which is life-sized dummy. Instructor Dave Casella said he is able to control the simulator’s pulse, blood pressure, eyes, internal sounds, etc. Casella and monitor what the students are doing through a computer. “We got the simulator through a grant,” he added.
Certifications and articulations under the Health Science programs include: American Red Cross standard first aid, American Red Cross Responding to Emergencies, American Heart Association CPR Health Care Provider, American Heart Association CPR Instructor, Minnesota EMSRB Emergency Medical Responder, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, Minnesota Department of Health Nursing Assistant and Minnesota Board of Pharmacy – Pharmacy Technician Certification.
Also part of the Health Science programs, the Nursing Assistant program is a one-course for two periods a day. The course is approved by the Minnesota Department of Health/Nursing Registry and prepares students to take the Minnesota Competency Exam for Nursing Assistants.
Winona State University allows students that are Nursing Assistant Certified, which they can do in the OSH program, are given advanced access to the college’s nursing program.
Student Adren Heath said the program will prepare students to into clinicals.
Jonathan Meyers, attends both Maple Grove and Osseo Senior High Schools. He attends required classes at MGSH and comes to OSH for the nursing/OEC program. “It’s amazing and I love it,” he said. “It’s really interactive.”
Sophomore Demarquez Frazier is also in the program, where he said the students get to work on each other and mannequins.
Stewart-Kellar added, “He will become nursing assistant certified and will be able to being working $10 to $12 an hour in high-demand nursing homes locally throughout his high school career.”
More information on Nursing Assistance and OEC programs can be found at sites.google.com/a/apps.district279.org/osseohealthscience/home.