a note from the editor
Volume 2 Issue 1
Carlmont's Biotechnology Institute (BTI) is a one-of-a-kind program that provides Carlmont BTI students with unique educational opportunities including cross-curricular learning between English, science and social studies, advanced science and laboratory-skill development, project-based learning, and career development. Students participate in a symposium, a one-on-one year-long mentorship program, and are encouraged to explore internship opportunities. They tour biotechnology companies, and they also receive dual credit (high school and college credit) for the series of biotechnology classes that they take. Wow! That is a mouthful - but then the BTI program has so much to offer. Now in its fifth year, we, BTI parents, are so fortunate that Carlmont offers this robust, small learning community to our teens. BTI provides students with the skills, analytic development, and career exposure they need for their next adventure after high school.
In this edition, we will say a final goodbye to the Class of 2019 and share in their joy, enthusiasm, hopes and dreams as they move on from Carlmont High School. We will also take a peek into the first year of college of some of the students from the Class of 2018, BTI's first graduating class. Finally, we will see how BTI has hit the ground running and is knee deep in its academic curriculum as well as BTI social events.
Finally, I would like to personally welcome our new BTI parents of students who are just starting the BTI program this year. Greetings! We are so excited about this new enthusiastic Class of 2022 and welcome you to our BTI parent community. Please take special note of our BTI events, two of which are for BTI parents specifically—our early Back-to-School Night presentation and our parent Mix and Mingle. See upcoming events. Also, if you would like to know more about BTI, I encourage you to check out Carlmont's BTI website and read a few of last year's BTI newsletters. They are chalk full of information. I would especially point you to April's newsletter: Behind the Scenes: The Dreamers, Leaders, & Supporters of BTI. It provides a history of the program as well as thoughts from the people who are responsible for this amazing program.
June 5, 2019
BTI students and their families came together for a special BTI graduation ceremony. One of the most universal comments stated from BTI students about the BTI program is the close friendships that they made in the program. What starts off as a class of mostly strangers becomes family. The bonds that the students and teachers form over the course of the three years is deep and lasting. Congratulations Class of 2019!
BTI Graduation slideshow by Mr. Engberg
Carlmont High School Graduation
June 7th, 2019
What a day to be proud! Congrats both students and parents of our BTI program.
Alice - Cornell University
Alice studies Plant Sciences with a concentration in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Cornell University. She credits BTI for enhancing her experience at Cornell. She writes, "The advantage BTI gave me in college was almost immediately noticeable to me. Every time I had a chemistry or biology lab, I could see how many practical lab skills I had gained because of BTI. I already knew how to use a micropipet, what PCR is, how to write a lab report, and many other skills that I see my peers here just starting to develop. I'm also already well acquainted with many of the biotechnology techniques and biology taught in lecture and was able to get a research position by the end of my fall semester. I'm currently working in that lab researching grafting in tomato plants and I've been able to learn a lot of new science because I already had the basics down." What is remarkable about her experience in the science labs at Cornell is that the BTI labs at Carlmont are as good if not, in some cases better than what she uses at Cornell!! She writes, "The resources we had access to as part of the program are quite often better or the same as what I use here. BTI gave me the opportunity to use equipment, materials, and skills that most students only get exposed to in college." Alice...just remarkable!
Taylor - UC Irvine
The BTI program really helped me mature as a student. The program taught me that while teachers are there to help, the drive and discipline must come from the student. In college, no one really cares if you even go to lecture or turn in a paper. Therefore it is important that you build those good habits in high school where people are still there to hold you accountable. BTI also did a great job helping me become better at working with others. While some assignments are completed solo, quite a lot force you to work with others to complete the project. I’ve noticed that this task seems much harder for other people here at Irvine, and I attribute that mostly to BTI projects that required you to get along with others, such as the Genetic Engineering project or working on a lab together.
There are a lot of things that I really appreciate about the BTI program. For one it allowed me to find a focus in science. I think that colleges like to see students that have found a subject area that the enjoy studying and have subsequently taken many classes in high school to demonstrate that interest. This program allowed me to do that and write about that in my applications. The mentor program showed me what it’s like to work in the field of science and helped to develop my e-mail etiquette skills. All in all I believe that the BTI program made me a well-rounded student.
Join in the fun at the Bagpiper Bash on Saturday, September 21 at 7PM at Waterdog Tavern! This event is sponsored by the Carlmont Academic Foundation (CAF), and all money raised supports our Carlmont students. This is the perfect chance to meet new friends or catch up with old ones! The 2018 Bagpiper Bash Fund-A-Need made a huge difference for Journalism last year, and CAF has their sights set on stocking a new science classroom this year! Let’s show our support! Check out the CAF website for event details and buy your Early Bird tickets now!
Become a Mentor
The BTI mentor program junior year is a vital differentiator for our students. These relationships have helped our BTI students gain knowledge of and skills needed in the business world as well as open doors to internships, research, job shadowing, and exposure to professionals who are making a difference through their work. Consider volunteering this year as a mentor or refer a colleague!
The mentor program pairs students with professionals to discuss both academic and career goals. While the curriculum is focused on science, student career interests can range from business and technology to medicine and law. The commitment is approximately 2 hours per month, with most interactions via email and 3-4 face-to-face meetings over the course of the school year. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5th and the program concludes on May 1.
Not sure? Let's meet up in an informal setting at Portobello Grill for the opportunity to meet the teachers as well as other mentors both new and experienced. Mentors from 3 schools are being invited: Carlmont HS, Sequoia HS and Woodside.
Mentor Mixer at Portobello Grill is Wednesday, 9/25 from 5:30-7:30 pm. Contact Faith Velschow at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 650-591-7502 to become a mentor or RSVP for the Mentor Mixer.
Join the parent-teacher development committee
We are looking to expand our Parent Development Committee and would welcome your ideas and energy! If you would like to be a part of this enthusiastic group, we would love you to join! All BTI parents are encouraged to join. If you can donate time and would like to help with some events or join the parent development committee, email email@example.com.
Upcoming schedule of events
- September 12 - Back-to-School Night PRE-presentation - 5:30 p.m. Room U21. The BTI Parent Community starts here with an opportunity to hear from current senior parents, ask questions and see some familiar faces
- September 17 - Exploratorium Field Trip - Sophomores - all day
- September 20 - Otter Pops and Kahoot - lunch & Shirtshirt orders due
- September 21 - Bagpiper Bash at Waterdog Tavern - 7:00 p.m.
- September 24 - California Academy of Science Field Trip - Juniors - all day
- September 25 - Mentor Mixer 5:30-7:30 at Portobello Grill - Interested in being a mentor? Let's meet up in an informal setting for the opportunity to meet the teachers as well as other mentors both new and experienced. Mentors from 3 schools are being invited: Carlmont HS, Sequoia HS and Woodside, so please email Faith Velschow to RSVP.
- October 16 - Parent Mix and Mingle Event - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. TBD - Come join other BTI parents for an opportunity to meet other BTI parents, ask questions and share experiences.
- October 18 - Science Symposium - Sophomores - Periods 1-3
- October 25 - Slimefest - lunch
- November 5 - Mentor Breakfast - Juniors - Periods 1-2
- November 22 - Pie Feast - lunch
- December 12 - BTI Study Night - 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- June 3 - SAVE THE DATE: BTI's 2019 Senior Graduation Ceremony - 6:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Carlmont
- Susan Gold - Co-Director of BTI: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jaime Abdilla - Co-Director of BTI: email@example.com
- Faith Velschow - Director of Mentoring and Career Services: firstname.lastname@example.org 650-591-7502
- Kevin Marks – President of the BTI Development Committee: email@example.com
- Kat Eden - Sophomore Parent Rep & Communications Rep: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cheryl Shelmadine - Junior Parent Rep and newsletter editor: email@example.com
- Jennifer Douglis - Junior Parent Rep: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tanya Rianda - Senior Parent Rep: email@example.com
- Gurpreet Padam - Senior Parent Rep: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to contact any of us if you have any questions, ideas or concerns. You can also submit articles, stories and/or photos to the editor of our Parent & Community BTI newsletter. We would love to feature what your amazing BTI student is up to!