Biochemical Technology provides us with solutions to real-world problems; from finding a cure for disease, to producing environmentally friendly fuel sources, and everything in between. The Biochemical Technology program gives students hands-on experience with research-grade equipment used in the biotechnology and chemical industries. The course provides an overview of many different career types including microbiology, veterinary and medical sciences, biomedical research, chemical engineering, food science, water treatment, environmental science, forensics, and pharmaceuticals. These fields are growing quickly and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10% growth in job availability over the next decade.
The Biochemical Technology program allows students to develop a variety of diverse skills related to working with chemicals and living organisms. Students perform hands-on experiments and take numerous field trips to explore careers in the pharmaceutical, microbiology, water treatment, product manufacturing, and research and development fields. Most importantly, this course trains students to work safely in a laboratory environment using a variety of different chemicals and techniques. These skills can be applied to a career as a laboratory assistant directly out of high school, and are also applicable to college level biology and chemistry courses. Students perform their own independent research project using the equipment and chemicals available in the laboratory. These projects are entered into the Tri-County Science Fair and the FFA Arthur Berkey State Science Fair. In the past two years over half of the class has earned a top ten place in the Tri-County Science Fair, and six students have placed in the top three in the highly competitive FFA Arthur Berkey State Science Fair. Two students have won first place at the state level and their projects advanced to the Agriscience Fair at the FFA National Convention.
Program Success Indicators
- Basic algebraic math skills (add, subtract, multiply, and divide)
- Basic computer skills (Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Canvas)
- Write scientific reports and research papers
- Interest in science
- Work independently or as a team member
- Dress appropriately for a laboratory environment (long pants, close-toed shoes, no contacts, lab coat, gloves, and safety glasses)
- Good work ethic and consistent attendance
- Initiative to learn new skills and topics
- Follow directions and safety protocols
- Complete assigned work in a timely manner; meet deadlines, prioritize tasks
- Enjoy working in a chemistry/biology laboratory
- Stand for long periods of time while working in the lab
- Work safely in a laboratory environment with chemicals, hot and cold items, electricity, and water
- Participate in FFA activities and career development events
- Conduct an independent research project for science fair
- Work with cultures of microorganisms and chemicals which may have an odor
- Manually manipulate small tools
Note: Additional education may be required.
- Laboratory Technician
- Forensic Scientist
- Medical Doctor
- Biomedical Researcher
- Environmental Scientist
- Chemical Engineer
- Nutritionist/Food Scientist
- Water Treatment Specialist
High School Credit*
*The LISD TECH Center recommends the academic credit listed. Credit can only be awarded by local districts.
- 1.0 2nd Science (Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, Agriscience)
- 1.0 3rd Science (in lieu of)
- 1.0 4th Math
- 1.0 Online Learning Experience
- 1.0 World Language (in lieu of)
- 1.0 Visual, Performing, & Applied Arts
- AP Biology (first year) or Environmental Science (second year)
College Credit Opportunities*
*College credit can only be awarded by the college or university. Certain requirements must be met outside of completing the program.
- Jackson College
- Michigan State University
- Siena Heights University
Carley Kratz received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. from Michigan Technological University. She was previously the Director of the River Raisin Watershed Council and has taught biology, chemistry, environmental science, and geology at the college level.