Dallas ISD’s first biomedical campus


While the term “amygdala” may not bear much significance for the average person, elementary students attending Biomedical Preparatory at UT Southwestern understand it as the small structure inside the brain that processes emotions.

Through experiential learning and the school’s partnership with the UTSW Medical Center, students easily grasp complex concepts like this every day.

“We want students to become critical thinkers by giving them an opportunity to discern and then make their own decisions,” Biomedical Preparatory Principal, Roberto Gonzalez, said. “Curiosity, creativity, resilience, empathy, innovation, and leadership drive everything we do.”

An idea envisioned by Charles Ginsburg, M.D., Vice Provost and Senior Associate Dean for Education at UTSW Medical Center, Biomedical Prep came to life in 2022 with half of its population coming from low socioeconomic backgrounds. 

“UT Southwestern has incredibly rich resources, and not only the physical facilities and equipment, but incredibly educated, fascinating people who are making important discoveries,” Ginsburg said. “It’s a win-win for us to be able to expose kids to the wonders of science and discovery.” 

Biomedical Preparatory operates similarly to a typical school, following a core curriculum, but with an emphasis on Science Technology Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). There’s a strong focus on social-emotional learning (SEL), design thinking, and the scientific method. For Principal Gonzalez, these values are at the helm of the school’s learning framework because they’re the makings of an inquisitive thinker. Every year, the second-grade class visits the simulation center at UTSW which models a real hospital. They learn how to use an EpiPen on a patient who’s experiencing an allergic reaction and observe the robotic da Vinci Surgical System. They also follow a piece of food as it travels through the digestive tract using an endoscope “video game.”

On “Bio Fridays,” medical professionals such as cardiologists, neurologists, dieticians, pulmonologists, kidney specialists, and even Nobel Prize winners, visit from UTSW to expose students to their field of study. These crash courses are taught in a comprehensible way for young kids using slime, lava lamps, and human brains.

“It was never my goal, to build a school to create doctors, my goal was to put in the foundations for a successful life through early education. It’s imprinting with certain, important principles to teach them what’s available in this life,” Ginsburg said.

The STEM campus currently serves PK-3 through second grade while adding a grade level every year until it is a PK-8. Next year, Biomedical Preparatory will undergo expansion under the district’s Bond 2020 program incorporating a library, gymnasium, extra classrooms, kitchen, cafeteria, and a new playground.

To learn more about this school, visit our website.


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