The Case for Teaching Biotech in High Schools

Imagine providing your students with the foundation to create prosthetic limbs for combat veterans, design algae-powered cars, or solve crimes using forensics. Teaching biotechnology does just that while simultaneously instilling a highly desired skill set. Whether students continue their education with associate degrees, doctorates, or something in between, the rapidly expanding biotech market has many career options available at each education level.

Biotechnology education helps students apply the theories they learned in biology, chemistry, physics, and math to solve real-world problems. Additionally, biotechnology teaches highly sought-after soft skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication, which makes students more desirable candidates for jobs after graduation.

Even students who choose to pursue careers outside of traditional biotech roles like lab technician or microbiologist can benefit from early exposure to biotechnology courses. Many large biotech companies employ individuals with training in biotechnology to assist with financial analysis, marketing, and supply chain management. Helping students understand how real-world problems are solved at the benchtop, by the bedside, and in the office can open their eyes to many career opportunities they may not have previously considered.

Biotechnology provides a way for teachers to think outside the box and an opportunity to collaborate with local colleges, universities, and biotech companies. Partnerships with community colleges may offer students college credit. Additionally, partnering with a community college may help to support your program with shared supplies that reduce the costs of implementing new biotech programs.

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The views and opinions presented are courtesy of Ellyn Daugherty, educator and author of Biotechnology: Science for the New Millennium and do not necessarily mirror the views and opinions of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Thermo Fisher assumes no liability arising from use of information presented by Ellyn Daugherty and this site. All products shown are for education use only, not for diagnostic purposes.