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Biotechnology 1,2 - CPA Program Course


In California, this course has program status for lab science (d) as a California Partnership Academies (CPA) a-g course. CPA teachers wishing to add any CPA program status a-g course to their school's official course list must participate in a half-day course-specific training offered through CDE. This course instructs students in laboratory concepts, techniques, and methods using critical thinking, communications, technical reading, and writing skills required in the fields of genetics, microbiology, and biotechnology. Author: Please contact Patricia Clark, Director of Teaching and Learning at CCASN, for more information:

Expected Student Outcomes/Objectives

Students will:
• Demonstrate ability to solve problems and think critically by completing challenging group and individual projects and assignments effectively.
• Demonstrate the ability to solve mathematical and scientific concepts related to biotechnology.
• Demonstrate the ability research, analyze, synthesis, and evaluate information from multiple sources.
• Demonstrate technical writing skills.
• Accept personal responsibility for decisions and actions.
• Understand the role of biotechnology in society including the risks and benefits.
• Understand the basic biological and chemical processes of cells, tissues, and organisms.
• Gain a deeper understanding of the significance of biotechnology in pharmaceutical development, agriculture, forensics, genetic testing, industrial products, and scientific research.
• Learn basic laboratory skills used in academic and industrial biotechnology laboratories.
• Learn how a biotechnology company works and the roles of its employees.
• Model the steps involved in the production of a recombinant DNA biotechnology product.
• Gain an understanding and exposure to assorted topics/concepts in biotechnology.

Description of Activities

Developed by a CPA teacher for CPA/CTE teachers, this course provides instruction in DNA theory, ethics, and technology and society to acquaint students with the challenges of this emerging field.

This course also includes laboratory experience in utilizing gel electrophoresis, plating and culturing bacteria, manipulating, fingerprinting, mapping DNA, and microscopic techniques (e.g. oil-emersion and staining of tissues).

Students will research, analyze, write, and present technical papers recording the progress and results of their work.

Parameters of instruction include: classroom theory, laboratory applications with individual and group projects, and assisting in community biotechnology research and development.

This course explores opportunities for post-secondary education and employment, allowing students to gain a broad awareness of both scientific and technological career paths.

Instructional Materials Needed

• Primary Textbook: Daugherty, Ellyn. Biotechnology: Science for a New Millennium. Paradigm, 2007 (or newer edition).
• Daugherty, Ellyn. Biotechnology: Laboratory Manual. Paradigm, 2007 (or newer edition).
• Seidman, Lisa, and Moore, Cynthia. Basic Laboratory Methods for Biotechnology. Prentice Hall, 2000.
• Seidman, Lisa. Basic Laboratory Calculations for Biotechnology. Benjamin Cummings, 2007.
• Stephenson, Frank. Calculations for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide to Mathematics in the Laboratory. Academic Press, 2003.

Other Support Materials (including Software):
• Amgen-Bruce Wallace Biotech Curriculum – provides free access to equipment, reagents, and materials for DNA and Transformation experiments.(
• Biobuilder Curriculum – provides free access to reagents and materials for DNA and Transformation experiments. (
• Occidental College’s TOPS Lending Kit for DNA and Protein analyses (

Laboratory Equipment

• Micropipettes
• Microcentrifuges
• Pipette pumps
• Water Baths
• Microscopes
• Weighing balances, including analytical
• Incubators and microwave oven
• Refrigerators
• Agarose Gel Electrophoresis apparatus for DNA analysis
• Vertical Gel Electrophoresis, PAGE, for protein analysis
• UV/White Light Box/Imaging System
• Thermocycler
• Computers –for DNA analysis and Internet search of job opportunities and applications of biotech

  • Websites - select icon below

Instructional Materials Provided

Course Outline, Scope and Sequence; Semester Guides select icon

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Additional criteria

Cost: Free

Curriculum type: Course

Academic subject areas: Laboratory Science; Career-Technical Education

States' Career Clusters: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math; Health Science

California Industry sector(s): Health Science and Medical Technology

Duration: one year

Grade Targets: 10, 11, 12

Levels of Expertise for CTE: Concentration/Skill building, Introductory

Targeted Support Material: Industry Involvement

Standards Addressed: Detailed documentation of alignment with Common Core, NGSS, C3 or CTE Standards provided  

Students will cover the following California Standards:
• California Science Content Standards: Biology/Life Science, Chemistry, Investigation and Experimentation
• California Career and Technical Standards (CTE):
Biotechnology Research and Development Pathway, Foundation Standards: Academic (Math and Language Arts), Communication, Career Planning and Management, Technology, Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

Professional Development Requirements/Recommendations: CPA teachers wishing to add any CPA program status a-g course to their school's official a-g course list must participate in a half-day course-specific training offered through CDE.

Source: Colleague

Organization/Publisher: California Partnership Academy (CPA)

Related Website(s):

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