• Biotechnology Syllabus



    Strath Haven High School


    Biotechnology and Forensics Syllabus


    Instructor:  Mr. Styer

    Room:        311

    Phone:        (610) 544-4124


    I.                  Course Description/ Overview

    This course is designed for juniors and seniors with at least two years of prior science including Biology and Chemistry.  The course centers on contemporary topics in biology and biotechnology including microbiology, pathology, forensics and criminalistics, and genetic technologies.  The focus will be on examination and understanding of various topics in the Biotechnological world around them and the way the quality of life can be improved through modern biological techniques.  With all the popularity and relation to biotechnology, forensic sciences and criminalistics will be another aspect of study.  Finally, the students will also examine the ethical implications of these topics and technologies, studying their impact on their lives as well as society’s in general.


    II.               Course Objectives
    • Understand a variety of cutting-edge Biotechnical topic
    • Understand and utilize various methods of research and lab technique
    • Recognize basic biological structure and nomenclature
    • Understand modern uses of microbes in medicine and industry
    • Examine the process of bioremediation
    • Understand the function of household cleansers and perform a cost-analysis to determine quality
    • Perform labs and record/manipulate data
    • Understand the current problem with antibiotic resistance and examine alternatives
    • Examine the structure and function of a typical virus
    • Examine the possible flu pandemic, the causes and possible solution
    • Understand the mechanisms of disease transmission and disease pathology
    • Apply research techniques and communication skills during a disease report.  There is a written portion, a visual portion, and an oral presentation component.
    •  Explore the dynamic world of DNA techniques, DNA manipulation, as well as all aspects of DNA technologies
    • Understand the ethical implications of modern biotechnological capabilities and make predictions of the world to come.
    •  Examine aspects of Forensic Sciences including crime scene investigation, evidence collection and preservation, fingerprinting techniques, and blood sample analysis.


    III.           Course Content (Topics include but are not limited to):

    A.    Biotechnology

                        1.      Defined
                        2.      Overview
                        3.      History

    B.     Microbiology

                        1.      History
                        2.      Antiseptics/soaps
                        3.      Bacterial types
                        4.      Antibiotic resistance & options for the future
                        5.      Staining/ ID
                        6.      Microbes in industry
                        7.      Bioremediation
                        8.      Microbes in foods
                        9.      Control

    C.    Viruses & Immunity

                        1.      Viral structure & function
                        2.      Immunity, autoimmunity, & immune deficiencies
                        3.   Viral diseases & cycles related to pathologies


    D.    DNA Technologies

                        1.      Genes
                        2.      DNA & manipulation
                        3.      PCR
                        4.      Xenotransplantation
                        5.      Electrophoresis
                        6.      Applications for the future (agriculture)
                        7.      Implications of bioethics

    E.     Forensics

                        1.      Fingerprinting 
                        2.      Crime scene analysis & evidence collection
                        3.      Blood splatter and analysis
                        4.      Luminal and blood evidence
                        5.      Bone analysis
                        6.      Ballistics
                        7.      Genetic analysis of evidence


    F.     Pathology and Disease

                        1.      Disease transmission and control
                        2.      Pathology and Etiology
                        3.      Disease project and all aspects of the report


    IV.           Student Assessment

    A.    Quizzes (allowing one index card for reference)

    B.     Labs and write-ups

    C.    Student presentations and participation

    D.    Current events

    E.     Cooperative learning activities and group work

    F.     Case-study and current event analysis

    G.    Classroom discussions, debates, and simulations

    H.    A variety of class work and assignments


    V.               Grading Policy
    • Students will be graded on work that is completed on time.  Late work is accepted only after the student prearranges with the teacher and will be penalized accordingly.  No work will be accepted after the interim period.   Absenteeism will not be tolerated in class and after 10 absences, 2% will be deducted from a student’s grade for every day beyond the 10-day grace period that is unexcused, there will be a detention attached until the school limit that allows them to supercede with punishment.  Additionally, 5% off of the final grade will be deducted for every period that a student “cuts” this class (and this is in addition to the punishment that the school deems responsible for these infractions).
    • Homework is not a formal assignment but there will be numerous assignments given that will encompass a week or more (especially with respect to the projects).  They may entail finishing a lab or involve finding current event articles that will be discussed in a given week.
    • Final Grade Determination:

    First M.P.          Second  M.P.    Final Exam    Final Grade

          40%                      40%                   20%               100%


    VI.           Required Materials
    • Class Notebook
    • Class Folder

             =>Can be 3-ring binder or Trapper-Keeper, etc.

    • Writing utensil of choice
    • Current research materials
    • Materials provided in class for a specific unit
    • Any additional reference materials