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Upper School Curriculum

  • Advanced (ADV)
  • Science
ADV Biotechnology 
Grade: 12
Spring
PREREQ: Biology, Chemistry

This Advanced course offers students an opportunity to delve into the fascinating world of biotechnology — emphasizing its applications, ethical considerations, and impact on society. Students will be immersed in the cutting-edge world of advances in biotechnology while critically assessing the ethical considerations that shape the current work in this field. Possible topics include DNA structure and analysis; microbiology and cell culture; polymerase chain reactions; and immunology. Students will engage in hands-on laboratory experiments, discussions, projects, reflections, and critical-thinking activities to develop a deep understanding of biotechnological advancements and their implications on our lives. Additionally, bioethics will serve as a lens to refine student thinking and inquiry as students grapple with complex questions that connect biotechnology, ethics, and society. These questions can be addressed through different case studies that connect biotechnology and ethics, or organized debates and discussions in which students take on roles representing various stakeholders — scientists, ethicists, policymakers, and members of the public. Students will strengthen their argumentation skills as they learn to consider the multiple perspectives that intersect with science in our society. Students will be constantly pushed to be creative in their approach to problems, and recognize that in the real world, sometimes there is not one solution. Students will be encouraged to think deeply and assess “what if” scenarios in which they speculate the long-term consequences of current choices at the intersection of biotechnology and ethics.

  • Grade 12