Magazine article District Administration

Zoology and Botany Magnet School Comes to Miami-Dade County

Magazine article District Administration

Zoology and Botany Magnet School Comes to Miami-Dade County

Article excerpt

Invasive fish species can harm Florida's waterways.

And now students from Miami-Dade County's BioTECH @ Richmond Heights work with Zoo Miami scientists to monitor the invaders and their effects on local lakes. The conservation-biology-focused STEM high school--which opened in 2014-15 with help from an $11 million federal grant--focuses on zoology, botany, genetics, ecology, chemistry and environmental sciences.

BioTECH, which has 16 Miami-Dade teachers, works with the Zoological Society of Florida, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Discovery Education, the Buck Institute and ESRI geographic information system company. These partners provide additional personnel to teach courses and complete research projects with students.

Freshmen take project-based zoology, research and experimental courses to hone their lab and field data collection skills. In 10th grade, the program focuses on botany. By junior year, students pick a specific STEM subject to study.

In the botanical lab at the school's Richmond Campus, students research the interaction between plants and animals. In one project, they study techniques for breeding critically endangered orchids. …

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