Biotechnology & Madison High Schools

At the Biotech in WI Meetup this week, we learned about the Biotechnology elective at West, Memorial and La Follette high schools in Madison. Lisa Wachtel, Science Coordinator for Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), provide background about one of the hands-on laboratory opportunities available during the school day.

MMSD Biotechnology Program Needs

Although the discussion was richer in person, here is a quick recap of areas for involvement – in the biotech as well as other science classes. If you or your organizations are interested, drop a note and you’ll get connected.

  • 1. Highlighting the opportunity for students – Visualizing the career potential
  • Biotech is an elective so enrollment can vary based on interest.
  • Possible contributions
  • Short video profiles of local scientists
  • Video calls with local scientists for Q&A about their careers
  • 2. Assistance with equipment and supplies
  • Consumables
  • Ways to provide kits, reagents that fit the protocols teachers have developed for the classes.
  • Updating equipment
  • Way to provide information to MMSD about equipment that companies or the university will be selling, disposing
  • Maintaining equipment (e.g. fixing/calibrating pipettes)
  • Connecting local companies with MMSD to help service equipment as community service
  • Industry training program for grad students/postdocs who will then work with MMSD

Additional involvement may come as the MMSD is evaluating and integrating the Next Generation Science Standards and the Framework for K-12 Science Education.


We are planning a follow up session in the fall to learn about other biotech education programs in the area where our industry can get involved. If you would like to be involved, let us know.


2 comments on “Biotechnology & Madison High Schools

  1. Marla Rybowiak
    March 30, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    I’m interested in learning more. Maybe we can create a similar career program for high schoolers as we did with the MS program.

    • Laura Strong
      March 31, 2014 at 1:39 am #

      Marla – that sounds great! I will connect you and Lisa via email. Thanks for reading & responding.

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