Biotechnology

Connecticut Technical High School System's Biotechnology course breakdown by grade. Each student is required to complete four years of a Career Technical Education program.

Grade 9

3 Credits
Exploratory and Introduction to Biotechnology

Grade 10

3 Credits
Basic Techniques and Skills in Biotechnology

Grade 11

3 Credits
Advanced Techniques and Skills in Biotechnology

Grade 12

3 Credits
Independent Research Projects

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Exploratory and Introduction to Biotechnology (BL110)
All Grade 9 students go through the Exploratory program. In Grade 9, biotechnology students will be introduced to laboratory safety and basic techniques in biotechnology. Activities used to support learning will be modeled based on the day-to-day operations of a research laboratory. Students will obtain foundational knowledge in chemistry and biology to support the laboratory skills they acquire, including the topics of solutions, biological macromolecules (DNA, RNA, protein), basic cellular processes and introductory microbiology. Students will also develop their communication skills. Field trips to industrial and academic laboratories as well as guest speakers will be used to introduce students to different career pathways. Laboratory safety, bioethics and personal ethics will be woven throughout the curriculum.

Basic Techniques and Skills in Biotechnology (BL210)
In Grade 10, students will expand upon their foundational knowledge of basic techniques in biotechnology in a year-long research project. In this project, students will conduct research addressing real-world challenges in areas such as antibiotic discovery, biofuels and food science. Students will further develop their communication skills through oral and written presentations and will design and implement a personal career development plan. Field trips to industrial and academic laboratories as well as guest speakers will continue to be used to explore career pathways. Laboratory safety, bioethics and personal ethics will continue to be worked into the curriculum with an emphasis being placed on protocols, procedures and teamwork to encourage college preparedness and mirror workplace requirements.

Advanced Techniques and Skills in Biotechnology (BL310)
In Grade 11, students will continue their class research project from the previous year in the shop laboratory and through Work-based Learning and internships. In this project, they will learn and apply advanced concepts in molecular biology, biochemistry and chemistry. Students will learn to perform searches of scientific literature, read scientific journal articles and present their results using the common formats of scientific posters and abstracts. Students will spend the last part of the year planning their senior research projects. Field trips to industrial and academic laboratories as well as guest speakers will continue to be used to explore career pathways. Laboratory safety, bioethics and personal ethics will be woven throughout the curriculum.

Independent Research Projects (BL410)
In Grade 12, students will design, manage and perform an independent research project of their choosing through work in the shop laboratory, Work-based Learning, and internships. Students will be responsible for generating hypotheses, designing and planning experiments, collecting and evaluating data, drawing conclusions and making major decisions regarding their projects. Students will also further develop their communication skills through learning to write a grant proposal and their final paper, presenting their results and mentoring 9th grade students. Laboratory safety, bioethics and personal ethics will be woven throughout the curriculum.

Students successfully completing this course of study will be able to pursue a two- or four-year degree at colleges and universities or other private postgraduate institutions in the field of Biotechnology. The Biotechnology program is designed as a pathway to postgraduate programs, however, careers are available to our graduates which include (but are not limited to) lab assistant, veterinary assistant, animal technician, greenhouse management, field technician, retail management and research associate. Upon completing a two- or four-year program, career possibilities include all areas of research, data collection, environmental studies, manufacturing and pharmacology.