CPPS grant helps prepare high school students for bioscience careers


From the first day of kindergarten, children are asked what they want to be when they grow up. Their answers vary as much as the kids themselves, each dreaming of who they will be as an adult. But after they’re asked, what then? How do they find the path for these careers? Who supplies the map?

Thanks to a grant from Career Connect Washington, the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences hopes to help them find their way. As part of the project, the college has helped to create a series of job spotlights under the KSPS Career Explore NW:

The spotlights, featuring previous participants in area Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science classes, allow students, parents and community members to visualize how the program can help students take the next steps in their future careers. Project Lead the Way (PLTW), one of the nation’s leading PreK-12 STEM curriculum providers, is deeply engaged in the success of students, teachers and schools in our region and across Washington State.

“It’s about understanding how the Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science program in area high schools can help guide students and enable them to make better career choices,” explained Adjunct Faculty Katrina Rogers who oversees the project. “It also helps employers understand the students as potential candidates. The public doesn’t necessarily understand what the students are learning in this program. It’s a much broader skill and knowledge set than most people envision.”

Rogers is working with Gregg Godsey, an adjunct faculty member in the WSU College of Education, and Diane Lashinsky, the senior director of school engagement for PLTW on this project. With time, the team hopes to create more spotlight videos on the Career Explore NW site and build a Career Launch endorsed program to introduce PLTW Biomedical Science students to regional and statewide employers. Recent additional funding on the grant allows them to be expand the project in Eastern Washington and start to work with educators and industries in Western Washington.