All About Science: Biotechnology

Alexis Javay Frye, Student Life Editor

The Biotechnology Science, Technology and Industry (STI) program at North Point is all about the sciences. The program stems from most science classes, such as chemistry, biology, and physics. The program is taught by Mrs. Johnson-Toledo.

The program teaches lab techniques that students can apply to their college classes. Most students in the biotechnology program go into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) majors.

The program leads to careers in the medical field, forensics, and genetics. The students participate in labs where they learn how to make their own bacteria, grow cultures and study DNA and proteins. Students also learn how to grow plants and make aspirin.

The students learn how to use various pieces of equipment, such as micropipettes, UV lights, and incubators. “All the equipment we use works together in some way,” added Vicky Park (’12).

“Genetics is a big part of the class,” said Mrs. Johnson-Toledo. The program leads many students into careers as genetic therapist. The program also leads into careers in the medical field. “This program has made me interested in the broad spectrum of the medical field,” commented Park.

The program has about fifteen students in each grade level class. The class goes deeper into the various types of science and all the ways it is involved in the medical and other career fields. Sophomore year starts with the basics of biotechnology and how everything is set up. “Junior is more in depth, because you learn the more advanced parts, such as proteins and the process of trying to develop a new product,” said Jenna Stuphin (’13). Junior year also introduces new equipment. Senior year becomes more difficult. Students learn how to clone genes and begin working with hydroponics. “One of my favorite aspects of the class is hydroponics, which is growing plants in water,” added Jarred Darden (’12).

During the end of the senior year, the students have to develop and design their own project. For this project they have to create and tests and experiment that is of their interest. All the projects are different. One student this year is doing a project that focuses on genetic transformation. “They are all different, some other projects are focused on gene isolation,” added Tim Castano (’12).