ROP Biotech Students Earn First-Place Award in UC Berkeley Competition

ROP Biotech Students Earn First-Place Award in UC Berkeley Competition
Posted on 04/13/2020

BERKELEY, CALIF., April 13, 2020 –For the past seven weeks, a group of Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) ROP Biotechnology students had been participating in the BioEHSC Bioengineering High School Competition run by UC Berkeley Bioengineering Honor Society.  No doubt the students’ hard work and perseverance paid off, because they won first place in the Biological Engineering competition, with the project name: Cocktail of Biologics for Breaking down Plastics. Biotechnology industry professionals and academic faculty judged the projects. 

Instructor Kathy Huang, who teaches two sections of ROP Biotechnology Accelerated and Research courses at Dougherty Valley High School (San Ramon), reported that during this time period her students had been meeting weekly with UC Berkeley mentor students and with her (their coach). 

“The team designed projects that addressed modern problems using Biotechnology and Bioengineering design processes,” said Huang. “Even during our period of no in-class instruction, the students continued to work to complete the project.”

Normally, Huang takes the students to UC Berkeley for the in-person Symposium, featuring UC Berkeley lab tours, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, this year’s competition was completely virtual. Her students attended virtual keynote talks from speakers by UC Berkeley undergraduate students and PhD students. In addition, they also attended student panels from all ranges in Biotech educational pathways, from undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels.

The Dougherty Valley High School student team members are: Amruta Baradwaj, Ryan Motta, Jahnavi Reddy, and Abdul Saidmumtaz. The team’s UC Berkeley mentors were  Yolanda Shen and Bryan Wong. “I had these students in Biotech Level 1 last year and they are all seniors now,” says Huang. “I am so happy and proud of them. They all said that this was a big highlight of their senior year.”

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