Career Pathways

The ASK Academy is all about allowing scholars to explore career pathways skills they are passionate about. Upon acceptance, scholars choose between two pathways and work their way toward an exciting STEM career. Project-based, hands-on learning allows scholars the opportunity to solve real-world problems with the teacher as the facilitator. Learn more about those pathways here.

Biomedical Sciences

The Biomedical science pathway features unique courses that explore current trends in health and medicine. Throughout this pathway, guest speakers, field trips, lab exercises, and small animal dissections are used.

This pathway provides a powerful Attitude, Skills and Knowledge development for the scholar that is interested in going into the biomedical fields. It is broad enough in scope to introduce field options, but specific enough to develop and hone medical science skills to ready the scholar for post-secondary programs. The ASK Academy Biomedical Science Career Pathway is truly one of a kind. See brief descriptions of the course offerings below:

  • Principles of Biomedical Science and Human Body Systems - This course investigates the history of health care systems around the world; health and science careers; biomedical ethics; health and wellness; and an overview of the major body systems. Scholars create a career portfolio and participate in various organ dissections. (Offered every year.)
  • Anatomy and Physiology - This course investigates the major body systems in-depth. They use small animal and organ dissections in the course as a tool for learning. (Full year course, offered every year.)
  • Veterinary Sciences - Scholars will delve into the taxonomy and cladistics of the animal kingdom. A survey of select phyla and classes will occur, with special emphasis placed on the changes in different organ systems. Finally, you will investigate lifestyle, speciation, adaptation, convergence, divergence, and reproductive strategies from the perspective of natural selection and reproduction of the fittest. (Paired with pharmacology and offered every other year.)
  • Pharmacology - Scholars will focus on the field of pharmacology beginning with a botanical approach. They will investigate medicinal plants as well as common plant poisons. They will then focus on drug use and abuse throughout history, and gain an understanding of the different drugs used in different cultures. Finally, the scholars will learn about the fundamentals of drug therapy and investigate different classes of medication based on their systemic functions. (Paired with veterinary science and offered every other year.)
  • Genetics - Scholars will research different aspects of medical genetics including the basis of heredity, patterns of inheritance, genetic variation, and ethical issues in the field of genetics. There will be a special emphasis on the origin, diagnosis, and treatment of common genetic disorders. (Paired with microbiology and offered every other year.) 
  • Microbiology - Scholars will investigate the microscopic world by learning about topics such as microbial nutrition, growth, control, metabolism, and diversity. Other focuses of this course will include ecology and symbiosis, nonspecific resistance and immune responses, and microbial diseases. (Paired with genetics and offered every other year.)

Engineering & Design

The CADesign Challenge

CADesign First: Then more!
With emphasis on blending the essential content of traditional college preparatory studies–mathematics, science and language arts–with quality vocational-technical studies, The CADesign Challenge strives to prepare all scholars for post-secondary education and careers. There is no “general track.” A highly-structured and sequential program of study ensures a rigorous academic curriculum, linked to industry-based technical studies. Every scholar selects a technical concentration and receives instruction throughout the curriculum in the higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills leading to effective school-to-work transition.
After CADesign, if the scholar finds they have an interest and passion for design careers, they can focus on CADesign advanced courses I, II, III, and IV during their sophomore through senior years. This will develop their design skills in multiple design software they choose and master – The Master of the CADesign Challenge.

Note: Of course the CADesign scholar can take biomed and/or engineering elective courses where their schedule allows.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) – a National Pre-Engineering Program

Once nationally certified, ASK engineering scholars can receive college credit for their efforts in PLTW high school courses offered. A few foundational classes available for all freshmen and sophomores interested in engineering are as follows:

  • Introduction to Engineering & Design (IED) - Using 3D computer modeling software, scholars learn the design process and solve design problems for which they develop, analyze, and create product models.
  • Principles of Engineering (POE) - Scholars explore technology systems and engineering processes to find out how math, science, and technology help people. There are four specialized courses for juniors to choose from based on their interest.
  • Aerospace Engineering (AE) - Scholars learn about aerodynamics, astronautics, space-life sciences, and systems engineering through hands-on engineering problems and projects. This is a capstone course for seniors.
  • Computer Science & Software Engineering (CSE) - Scholars work in teams to develop computational thinking and problem solving skills. The course covers the College Board’s new CS Principles framework. The course does not aim to teach mastery of a single programming language but aims instead to develop computational thinking, to generate excitement about the field of computing, and to introduce computational tools that foster creativity. The course also aims to build students awareness of the tremendous demand for computer specialists and for professional in all fields who have computational skills. Each unit focuses on one or more computationally intensive career paths. This course also aims to engage scholars to consider issues raised by the present and future societal impact of computing.
  • Engineering Design and Development (EDD) - Teams of scholars, guided by community mentors, work together to research, design, and construct solutions to engineering problems.
  • Non PLTW Engineering courses: 
    • RoboRAVE courses I, II, III, and IV for 9th grade through 12th grade. These courses prepare the scholars for robotic competitions, teaching them computer programming and mechanical engineering to design and build autonomous and remote control robots.
    • CS-108 Computer Programming - A dual credit computer science course from the University of New Mexico; taught by ASK staff. Scholars will receive both high school and college credit as they are introduced to computer programming in multiple languages. 
    • A UNM/CNM course teaching microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. This course may rotate every other year with aerospace engineering. This course focuses on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) including micro and nano-enable systems and covers how these tiny devices work, are made, and designed, and where they are used in this emerging high technology field. Devices studied include those used in micro optical displays, sensors and microfluidic pumps used in bio-MEMS, pressure sensors and inertial sensors used in transportation and gaming applications. No books required, all is provided online and includes reading, animations, and streaming lecture educational materials. This course earns dual enrollment credit through CNM. 
  • Of course the Engineering scholar can take BioMed and/or CADesign Advanced elective courses where their schedule allows.