Franklin County High School Launches Biotechnology Curriculum with Help from Novozymes North America

Research Triangle Region, N.C. – Students at Franklinton High School in Franklin County are learning firsthand what biotechnology is all about as the first school in the state to pilot a new Introduction to Biotechnology course.

The new curriculum was made possible by its close partnership with Novozymes North America and a $25,000 lab equipment donation from the company, the world leader in industrial enzymes. A decade ago, Novozymes helped launch a community college biotechnology training program, BioWorks, that has now spread statewide. Now, Franklinton-based Novozymes has teamed with the public school system to help high school students learn about this important field of discovery and key regional business cluster.

Franklin County high school students can choose from several courses in the biotechnology field: biomedical technology, biotechnology and agriscience research (levels I & II) and medical sciences (levels I & II). Better equipment, well-stocked labs and access to some of the world’s leading scientists are all part of the package.

“For the health of our economy, it’s important that we continue to invest in science, math and technology education for tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.” said Novozymes North America President Adam Monroe. “At Novozymes, we are dreaming up innovations that are changing the world and we want to engage and inspire young people to pursue a career in biotechnology.”

Franklinton High School student Gabriela Rodriguez Castillo is among the students benefitting from the new program.

“I have learned a lot more than I thought I could in just a few weeks of the biotechnology course,” Castillo said. “Biotechnology to me means a learning environment that will help me on my career of being a robotic engineer.”

Franklin County Schools Career and Technical Education Director Laureen Jones said, “We are very fortunate to be in such close proximity to Novozymes and to have a good relationship with them, as well as with Vance-Granville Community College. We look forward to building a bigger and better biotechnology program with the help of our counterparts throughout the county.”

Franklin County Schools is also creating a Biotechnology Business Advisory Group to include representatives from the school system, Novozymes, Vance-Granville Community College, N.C. State University, N.C. Agricultural & Technical State University, N.C. Central University, the economic development community, Cooperative Extension Service, Employment Security Commission of N.C. and private employers. The group will help strengthen the biotechnology program and offer opportunities to students, such as job shadowing, mentoring and internships at some of the leading biotechnology companies in the region.
Anyone interested in joining the advisory group should call Jones at (919) 496-2457 ext. 235.