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Biotechnology Department @ McKinley Technology  High School


The Biotechnology department at McKinley High school aims to prepare high school students to attain 21st century skills needed to be globally competitive in science and technology fields. With the completion of this STEM program, students will be equipped with the laboratory, interpersonal and critical thinking skills to be successful in rigorous college environments.  Leading the Biotechnology department are Ms. Richardson, department head of Biotechnology I and II for sophomores and juniors and Mr. Barrera, department head of Biotechnology III and IV for seniors.  The program focuses on various current areas of information and research which encompass advanced cell and molecular biology, recombinant DNA technology and techniques, immunology, biochemistry, forensics, bioinformatics, infectious diseases, the environment, pharmacy, and the medical field. Due to the breadth of experience from department heads, seniors in the Biotechnology program will be challenged with topics that simulate core and specialized Biotechnology skills and techniques from Johns Hopkins University.  At the end of senior year, the program will require an independent research project in which each student will be required to seek a mentor in the industry to guide the research process. The purpose of this project is for students to develop independence in research and writing skills they need to be successful in college and an eventual career in a STEM driven field. The program concludes with a senior research project presentation in front of a diverse professional panel.

In the program, we emphasize to our students that the Biotechnology industry is constantly growing; during the past 10 years the number of jobs has increased exponentially to about 90 percent! We focus on emphasizing future careers in Biotechnology through implementation of STEM workshops and outings which will provide students with firsthand interactions with experts from various fields. Thus, the Biotechnology department has partner with Howard University College of Medicine, Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program (HPREP) in order for students to learn about topics in medicine, and to get insight on how to prepare for college through interactions with medical students, faculty and health professionals. Through these partnerships, we aim to have physicians, pharmacists, dentists, and nurses who will participate in information sessions.   

Outlined below are the courses offered at McKinley High School in Biotechnology from sophomore to senior year:

Course Level

High School Year

Course Title

Biotechnology I


Introduction to Biotechnology

Biotechnology II


DNA Technology and Techniques

Biotechnology III


Advanced Applications in Biotechnology

Biotechnology IV


Issues, advanced research and career exploration



Mr. Barrera- Biology and Biotechnology, Johns Hopkins University

Ms. Richardson-Biology and Biotechnology, Thomas Jefferson University