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The key to building a bright future in the health care field is to develop future health care professionals. The Pathways to Health Care tool has been created specifically for that purpose. Through a multi-disciplined curriculum, students can experience different areas in health care from research to public health.

What is Pathways to Health Care?

Pathways to Health Care (formerly known as Mini Medical School) is a free online tool available to science teachers developed to provide resources that teachers can use to seamlessly supplement and enhance the existing curriculum.

Classrooms in Kansas using Pathways to Healthcare
Kansas students impacted by Pathways to Healthcare

Health care experts from KU Medical Center, Kansas State University, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment have helped to create modules on different aspects of the health care field. Each module includes at least one video lecture, background, and supportive information, as well as hands-on activities that bring the topics to life in the classroom. Vocabulary activities, multi-unit activities, and career information is also available.

More modules are being added during the 22-23 academic year.

The Modules

Activities in this module were created to demonstrate the importance of collagen in the bone. Students will also examine the relationship between structure and function in bone and analyzing the effect of diet and weight-bearing activities on bone mineral content, bone strength and bone health.

With this module, the use of positron emission tomography (PET) images are used to help understand the function of the brain.

In this unit, students will learn about the different parts of the ear and their role in hearing. They will also learn about common disorders of the ear and the profession of audiology. The activity will focus on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) through testing the decibel levels of different areas.

There is a very strong connection between diet and the potential for the development of diabetes. This activity gives students a look into their own diet and encourages them to think about how the choices they make that affect their health.

In this activity, students will demonstrate the natural antibiotic resistance that has developed in certain bacteria commonly found in everyday life.

The malaria module teaches students about the transmission of malaria through mosquitoes, the global impact of the disease and the efforts being made to control and prevent the spread of malaria. During the module, students can look at the different stages of a mosquito's life cycle and watch how malaria is being researched in the United States.

The influenza module builds on students' understanding of DNA and RNA structure and function, the general virus structure and function, and antigen/antibody interactions. Students are led through a case study involving an interactive step-by-step progression of an epidemiological study as professionals unravel the mysteries of a new influenza virus (H3N2).

Students learn the process behind preparing for and responding to a natural disaster situation by working through a tabletop exercise.

Students examine the difference in tobacco use over the years. Students take a look at the changes in advertising, demographics and trends.

What's in it for You?

Teachers who utilize the Pathways to Healthcare tool in their classrooms receive a link to the online content. Each of the nine modules includes:

  • Recorded presentation(s) given by health care experts.
  • Materials and instructions for the accompanying hands-on activities.
  • Background information and additional resources.

The Pathways to Health Care tool aligns best with higher-level biology classes such as Anatomy and Physiology or with a Health Science class. All the materials for the program meet criteria from the National Science Education Standards, the Kansas Science Standards and Benchmarks, the National Healthcare Foundation Standards and Accountability Criteria, and the Kansas Health Science Education Standards.

How to get the Pathways to Health Care Tool

Teachers who are interested in the opportunity to bring the Pathways to Health Care Tool into their classroom should contact Tina Goosz by email at or by phone at 620-235-4040.

Community Engagement

University of Kansas Medical Center
KU Area Health Education Center
1501 S. Joplin
4th Floor, Shirk Hall
Pittsburg, KS 66762
Phone: 620-235-4040