Lab-assistant class planned

BROADALBIN – Next school year, the Broadalbin-Perth High School will offer juniors and seniors interested in biology the chance to learn the duties of a laboratory assistant.

The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District’s Board of Education unanimously approved the new course Monday.

“It is just another example of Broadalbin-Perth expanding its learning opportunities for our students,” District Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said. “We’ve recognized when we advertise for science teaching positions we are not getting applications, so that is a reason we need a program like this to get students coming out of high school and going into college [to] want to teach an area of science.”

The full-year course will be worth one high school credit and one college credit from Syracuse University, according to the course syllabus. It will allow students who have completed a biology course with a lab component to receive one credit hour for assisting in teaching the General Biology II Lab classes.

According to the syllabus, the objectives of the class are to allow students to gain experience in a teaching laboratory environment, to learn about the practice of teaching biology at the post-secondary level and to strengthen students’ understanding of fundamental biological principles and basic laboratory skills.

The required textbook for the course will not cost the district anything because it will be available to students online, high school Principal Robin Blowers said.

Blowers said she already has had two or three students interested in signing up for the course next year.

“We don’t expect a lot of students, but it is certainly an option for the students to get a taste for what it’s like to be a college lab assistant which many of them do when they go to college,” Blowers said. “It will be for people that want to go into biology to either be a teacher or something else in the field. We have no connecting piece for that.”