The Importance of Teaching Biotechnology


Would you like to solve world hunger, stop global warming, or cure a disease? Or would you like a job in one of the hottest and fastest growing career fields in the world? Biotechnology provides the opportunity to do both.

Biotechnology uses living systems to develop products, increase quality of life, and improve the health of our planet. It requires a highly trained workforce, and career opportunities in biotechnology are as diverse as they are rewarding. Some jobs fall into the areas of research and development, including lab technician, zoologist, food/plant scientist, microbiologist, biochemist, and biomedical engineer. Biotech careers can also exist outside the lab in fields like technical writing, sales, marketing, and manufacturing. Such a variety of jobs demands a wide-range of education and training, but all careers in biotechnology are built on strong foundations in science and economics.

Biotechnology’s interdisciplinary nature demands biotech professionals to be well-versed in multiple STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) areas including biology, chemistry, environmental science, physics, and engineering. Preparing students to become tomorrow’s biotech super heroes is a tall order, and some employers may give priority to candidates with hands-on lab experience. That’s why the Fisher Science Education team has partnered with Ellyn Daugherty, educator and author of Biotechnology: Science for the New Millennium, 2017 (BS4NM) to providethe most current, flexible, and well-supported biotech curriculum available.

Biotechnology: Science for the New Millennium 2017 (BS4NM) uses a lab manual and textbook to present complex subjects in small doses. Students of all levels can master the material, which helps to instill science literacy, research skills, and career awareness. Furthermore, the flexibility of BS4NM makes it ideal for high school and college settings. The curriculum can be used as an introductory course for careers in pharmaceuticals or environmental engineering, or as a capstone class to illustrate the application of general chemistry, biology, physics, or environmental science. It can also be tailored to a single semester’s curriculum, or extended to cover four years’ worth of high school or college activities, ensuring that each school can develop a biotech program to meet the future career needs of their students. Additionally, BS4NM provides extensive teacher support materials, including lesson plans and professional development opportunities to ensure that instructors feel confident in the ever-changing world of biotech.

As the premier supplier of BS4NM materials, the Fisher Science Education brand provides one-stop-shopping and dedicated product support for educators using the Biotechnology: Science for the New Millennium, 2017 curriculum. Visit to learn more about how the BS4NM textbook, lab manual, teacher support resources, and materials lists can prepare your students for STEM careers. 

Discussion Questions

  • How do hands-on lab experiments prepare students for future careers?
  • What examples can you find of biotechnology products?
  • Biotechnology