Seniors showcase their Capstone projects

Megan Frelwald

WOODSTOCK – Megan Freiwald, a senior at Central High School, is one of 11 students in the Biomedical Sciences Academy who took part in its first Capstone Program.

“Capstone? It created this family. We were the first people to go through the program,” Freiwald said about the program.

The 11 students had to do an internship and then participate in the Capstone Program, which consisted of a project about topic of interest to them.  They could choose to design and execute experiments to answer a medical or health question,  design and build a product that solves a problem, or they could develop a new system or process that improves some aspect of a patient’s health care experience.

“We could create an event or create an innovation,” Freiwald said. “We had to adapt and be OK with different challenges. But we learned we can do this. It helped prepare us for the challenge of college.”

Freiwald said she got the idea for her project from her mom Wendy Freiwald, who is the marketing and community liaison for myPotential at Home, a National Lutheran Community and Services organization.

Megan Freiwald created a seminar to help Shenandoah County residents on what services are available to help the elderly remain in their home.  The seminar, “Understanding Home Care and Home Health,” was designed to inform attendees about knowing when a loved one needs services and what is covered by Medicare and insurance. The seminar also included a physical therapist discussing the risk of falls to seniors as well as free balance screening.

She came up with a promotion campaign and got the word out about the event, which was held in March at the Woodstock Moose Club.

Megan Freiwald finished her Capstone Program last week with a required project presentation.

She said it was interesting seeing students do different presentations that included topics on spinal relief surgery, the rate of depression symptoms in 11th-graders, and the effects of the flu vaccine on public health.

“We learned we can do this,” Freiwald said. “It prepared us for different things and to handle questions.”

She said the Biomedical Sciences Academy challenged her and taught her different skills, such as research, public speaking and professionalism that she can take with her wherever she goes in life.

The academy is broken up into four health-related field courses: Principles of Biomedical Science – in which students follow the death of a woman to determine the cause of her death; Biomedical Innovations; Human Body Systems – where they learn the different systems of the body; and Medical Interventions, such as respiratory therapy.

Jamie Coleman, Melissa Marston, and Melinda Walters teach at the academy. Katie Rice, Shenandoah County Public Schools career and technical education supervisor, helped start the program.

“It’s amazing to see how it’s grown,” Rice said.