Academy for Biotechnology

  • The Academy for Biotechnology is a rigorous Career & Technical Education (CTE) program that prepares students for success in post-secondary programs and careers related to the biotechnology field. Students in the Academy will develop research and laboratory skills through learning in a hands-on, project-based model guided by real-world applications.


Academy Teacher

Phone: 973-627-4600 X 420


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Alessandro Pizzo

Biotechnology Lab Classroom 360 View

Biotechnology lab - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Biotechnology Classroom/Lab 360 View

Post from RICOH THETA. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Career Field - Biotechnology

  • Career Pathways in Biotechnology (include but are not limited to):

    Biotechnology Research and Development:  Biochemist, Bioinformatics Scientist, Biomedical Chemist, Biomedical Manufacturing Technician, Biostatistician, Cancer Registrar, Cell Biologist, Clinical Data Management Specialist, Clinical Pharmacologist, Clinical Trials Monitor, Clinical Trials Research Coordinator, Crime Scene Investigator, Diagnostic Molecular Scientist, Forensic Biologist, Forensic Chemist, Forensic Odontologist, Forensic Pathologist,Genetic Counselor, Geneticist-Lab Assistant, Lab Technician, Medical Editor/Writer, Microbiologist, Molecular Biologist, Nurse Researcher, Packaging Technician, Patent Lawyer, Pharmaceutical/Clinical Project Manager, Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, Pharmaceutical Scientist, Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacologist, Product Safety Scientist, Process Development Scientist Processing Technician, Quality Assurance Technician, Quality Control Technician, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, Research Assistant, Research Scientist, Toxicologist



     Seniors in the Academy for Biotechnology have completed internships with (including but not limited to):

    Atlantic Health - Morristown Medical Center
    Bayer Pharmaceuticals
    Columbia University
    Mountain Lakes Makerspace
    Tara Innovations LLC
    Valley Pharmacy



Academy Course of Study

  • 9th Grade


    • Bioethics: Bioethics is a full-year course designed for students to explore the underlying ethical issues surrounding biotechnology, the environment, research, life and death choices, and medicine. Students will be asked to consider multiple perspectives as well as deepen their understanding of downstream repercussions of decisions regarding ethical issues. This course gives students the opportunity to grapple with some of the most challenging and engaging problems our society is facing as consequences of advances in the life sciences.
    • Experimental Design: Much of the lessons that take place in science classes at the secondary level are limited in their ability to accurately represent some of the most critically important realities of real science and true inquiry. These realities are aptly termed the “Nature of Science (NOS)” in science education research and NOS lessons are seldom intertwined into science curricula. This is often due to a lack of time, as content coverage historically trumps ancillary concepts like NOS. In Experimental Design, NOS is at the forefront of the course and serves as the very foundation of the entire curriculum. The course is divided into two halves split over four units. The first half serves to answer the driving question of, “What does it mean to ‘experiment’ in science?” This question cannot be answered unless students understand what the nature of science is and thus, NOS is explored over the first unit, Unit 1: NOS. In Unit 2: Literature Review, students continue to look at what it means to experiment, but this time, in the specific context of real-life, seminal experimental designs of the past. Students explicitly connect how past scientists and previous scientific research exemplified the aspects of NOS covered in the previous unit. The latter half of this course is based on answering the second driving question of, “What does it mean to ‘design’ an experiment in science?” With a thorough understanding of NOS and prior experiments at hand, students can now start to explore the more technical aspects of design, with an initial exploration of standard lab procedure (Unit 3: Lab Technique). Upon successfully learning common biotechnological lab techniques, students are tasked with designing their own novel experiments in which they will collect data and formally present their conclusions (Unit 4: Design).

    Core Courses:

    • English 9
    • Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II
    • Biology 
    • Health and Physical Education 9
    • World History
    • World Language
    • Financial Literacy


      NOTE: Financial Literacy is a 2.5 credit graduation requirement that is taken along with Academy courses throughout 9th, 10th, and 11th grade.

    10th Grade


    • Introductory Biotechnology (Semester 1): Throughout the course, students will be using real-life cases to introduce a core set of ethical considerations on each topic that are important for analyzing ethical issues in medicine and the life sciences. Design elements emphasize key bioethical concepts and analytic methods, cutting-edge science content, and real-world scenarios. Activities promote active and collaborative learning to help students develop their ethical reasoning and critical thinking skills.
    • Applied Biotechnology (Semester 2): Applied Biotechnology is a laboratory-based course that builds upon the knowledge and skills students bring from Introduction to Biotechnology. While allowing the continuation of skill and content knowledge building in biotechnology, the course focuses student learning around the central idea that biotechnology can be applied to feed, heal, and sustain the world we live in. Therefore, the course explores the application of biotechnology in two major industries, agriculture, and medicine. These areas of study will allow students to explore technologies used to grow crops for food, develop medicine, and produce alternative fuels. Engineering concepts will be used to develop student understanding of the role of synthetic biology in the healthcare industry and to prototype solutions of their own. As in Introduction to Biotechnology, students will also continue to explore an independent research topic in the lab and demonstrate skills in communication and presentation as they share their results.

    Core Courses:

    • English 10*
    • Geometry*, Algebra II* or Pre-Calculus*
    • Chemistry*
    • Health and Physical Education 10
    • US History I*
    • World Language
    • VPA Elective

    *Honors courses available and determined by grades and teacher recommendation

     11th Grade


    • Special Topics in Biotechnology (10 Credits): 

      Special Topics in Biotechnology is a laboratory-based course that builds upon students' knowledge and skills from their 9th and 10th-grade Biotechnology coursework. Therefore, this next course continues to explore the application of biotechnology in multifaceted ways while building students’ career-ready skills. Students will continue to explore and engage in new topics, such as environmental biotechnology. They will develop their communication and collaboration skills as they work together to explore cell and tissue culture dynamics or the intricacies of industry regulatory mechanisms. Students will lead their peers through challenging engineering and design problems and develop workable solutions to complex issues. Students will also grow as scientists, engineers, and STEM leaders by continuing to work on and share their independent research projects in the laboratory with others.

    Core Courses:

    • English 11*
    • Algebra II*, Pre-Calculus*, Calculus
    • Physics*
    • Health and Physical Education 10
    • US History II*
    • World Language
    • Elective

    *Honors courses available and determined by grades and teacher recommendation

     12th Grade at MCST

    Career and Technical Education (Academy):

    • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification Program - Partnership Program with Atlantic Training Center (10 credits, offered in the Fall Semester)
    • Career and Technical Education Elective (i.e. Virtual Enterprises International, Computer Science Principles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)
    • Senior Capstone
    • OR CCM for Academy coursework

    Structured Learning Experience (Graduation Requirement):

    • All Seniors must complete 120 hours of an approved internship in their respective career fields.

    Core Courses: 

    • English 12* (required)
    • Health and Physical Education 12 (required)
    • Calculus, Statistics, Foundations of College Math
    • Environmental Science, Anatomy and Physiology I
    • World Language*

    *Honors courses available and determined by grades and teacher recommendation

    NOTE: Financial Literacy is a 2.5 credit graduation requirement that is taken along with Academy courses throughout 9th, 10th, and 11th grade. This course is transcripted senior year, after the successful completion of the learning activities in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade. If a senior has not successfully completed the financial literacy requirement, the course will be taken in 12th grade.

    12th Grade at County College of Morris

    Eligible Seniors may complete their Senior coursework in full or in part at County College of Morris. See the School Counseling Department for more information.

    Required Courses:


    • English Composition I (ENG111)
    • Lifetime Wellness (HED128) or PE (labeled HES)
    • Academy Course (1) ** Students attending County College of Morris may still participate in the EMT Program at MCST (described above)

    BIO 102 Anatomy & Physiology II
    BIO 121 General Biology I
    CHM 125 General Chemistry
    CHM 126 Gen Chem Lab (4cr)
    COM 104 Interpersonal Communications
    COM 109 Speech Fundamentals
    CMP126 Computer Applications (all but CIS students)
    CMP128 Computer Science 1 (all but CIS students)
    BUS 112 Introduction to Business (all but FIB students)
    ACC 110 Elements of Accounting (all but FIB students)


    • English Composition II (ENG112)
    • PE or Lifetime Wellness (whichever was not taken in the Fall)
    • Academy Course (1) (see above list)

    *See Guidance (School Counseling) Department for additional information on CCM courses

    Structured Learning Experience

    All Seniors must complete 120 hours of an approved internship in their respective career fields.