RSTA BE-IT Exploratory Program

(Available to 9th graders, one semester length)

Ninth grade students in the RSTA BE-IT Exploratory Program “explore” four different technical programs within RSTA: Biotechnology, Engineering, Information Technology, and Health Assisting. 

BE-IT Exploratory students are divided into groups of about 15 students and engage in career-specific projects and discussions to gain a basic level of understanding of what each career area entails. BE-IT is designed for students who enjoy science and math, who like to figure out how things work and are curious about solving problems and finding answers. Read the synopsis of each class and the fun activities that students engage in during this class (below).

Students are introduced to the thriving biotechnology industry in Cambridge. They investigate the products and techniques used in the 90+ biotech companies located in Cambridge through independent research and hands-on lab work. They use recombinant enzymes to make cheese, isolate DNA, perform gel electrophoresis, work with microscopes, bacteria, and yeast and understand their applications in biotech. Students will investigate the wide range of career opportunities in the biotech industry. They are also introduced to current challenges and case studies in bioethics.

While engaging in hands-on learning activities, Engineering students learn and practice the process of how to complete a project. This could be anything from an invention to making something work better to a school science fair project. The steps in the process include brainstorming, selecting an approach, designing the item, prototyping, testing, and then redesigning it until it is just right. Students work in the state-of-the-art RSTA engineering lab and with professional design software. The lab includes a 3-D printer, machines to build robots, as well as computer-controlled metal fabrication tools.

Information Technology
Students in IT will explore a number of topics in the field of Information Support Services and Networking using a hands-on and demonstration approach.  Students will review trends in the evolution of IT and will gain insight to the varied pathways and career possibilities in the field. Students will learn about computer hardware, operating systems, networks, and security. Students will also explore the design of web pages and other applications using various computer languages.

Health Assisting
The health care industry is replete with uses of technology in its many different forms.  BEIT students will learn some of the basic elements of health care, with an eye towards the role technology plays in the health care field.