By Paula Ebben
LOWELL (CBS) – An impressive class for honors students at Lowell High School combines science and business and they’re taking advantage of a resource right in their own neighborhood.
“I feel like having this experience has put me one step closer to what I’d experience out in the real world as an adult,” one student told WBZ-TV. Watch the broadcast.
In the real world, high school students don’t often get to be actual entrepreneurs. But these Lowell High students have been designing their own medical devices in a yearlong contest as part of this special honors class.
What makes this program so special is the proximity between Lowell High School right down the street and the campus here at UMass Lowell where students can come and study at the UMass Medical Device Development Center.
M2D2 as it’s called is an incubator for medical technology. These juniors and seniors have special access to new ideas as they work on their own.
“Though we focus on medical devices, there’s a lot of business aspects that we cover in this class that just help us in our own lives,” senior Brandon Manseau said.
Manseau’s group is creating an app for medical records.
“I’m going to have to worry about money, debt, things like that and starting a business is that but on a much larger scale and the stakes are higher so you need to make sure that you know these things,” he said.
One of three groups will be named the winner. Senior Callie O’Neil wants to be a biomedical engineer. She and her classmates imagined a pillow that helps with sleep apnea and thinks the competition has added to the fun of learning.
“Once I found out about it, I thought it was like a perfect fit that I could take a shot at developing a medical device on my own,” O’Neil said.
Even the instructor’s learned a lot – Kreg Kaminski’s a senior at UMass Lowell who’ll teach science at the high school next year.
“These kids will have a huge leg up when they go to be engineers and they’ll already have all that experience,” he said.
The third group in the class had designed an affordable elbow brace. The winner will be announced at their year-end presentation. But we all might be relying on one of their medical devices one day.