Biotech Academy open house

Educators across Madison County joined the HudsonAlpha Biotech Academy graduates for an open house and reception on Friday, July 10. In its third year, Biotech Academy is an intensive, four-week active learning experience designed to introduce high school rising juniors and seniors to the foundations of molecular genetics, DNA barcoding, genetic engineering and synthetic biology.

Funded by Jean Wessel Templeton, a continuous supporter of HudsonAlpha Educational Outreach, the Biotech Academy gives teacher-nominated public high school students from the greater Huntsville area the opportunity to work closely with scientists and educators in an interactive, technique-based environment, allowing ample time for discussions and analysis of experimental results.

“I really like the hands-on labs that we’ve gotten to do. It’s a lot more engaging than a traditional classroom setting,” said Huntsville High School senior Alyssa Butler.

Biotech Academy is led by Michele Morris, Workforce Development Leader for Educational Outreach and Ben Johnston, an educator at Bob Jones High School.

“We were thrilled to have such a diverse group of students who were ready, willing and able to jump into the next step in learning science,” said Morris. “I think they will be surprised with the skills and self-confidence they have gained during these past four weeks.”

“I wish that everyone could see what happens over the 80 hours that students spend in these labs working together,” said Johnston. “I think that we could really learn a lot from them and I want to thank HudsonAlpha for letting me come and geek-out with them for four weeks!”

Family members, teachers, administrators and superintendents attended the open house in support of Biotech Academy graduates from Huntsville City, Madison City and Madison County public high schools including:

•       Bob Jones High School — Ashley Dong

•       Buckhorn High School —Kendall Campbell

•       Butler High School — A’Jada Young

•       Columbia High School — Sarah Bamburg

•       Grissom High School — Brooke Balla

•       Hazel Green High School — Todd Harrison

•       Huntsville High School — Alyssa Butler

•       James Clemens High School — Kishan Patel

•       Johnson High School — Debriona Harris

•       Lee High School — Brooke Drinkard

•       Madison County High School — Calvin Pearson

•       New Hope High School — Byron England

•       Sparkman High School — Sarah Ferrans