Portrait of a Leader in Biotechnology (Part II)

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Students will be able to apply what they have learned about the attributes and responsibilities of an effective leader in biotechnology to create accurate portraits of successful members of this dynamic field.

Big Idea

Do you have what it takes to be an effective leader in the biotechnology industry?


5 minutes

The following lesson is a continuation of the lesson entitled, "Part I - Portrait of a Leader in Biotechnology". It begins with activities that enable student to evaluate their leadership personality and ends with students being featured in employment ads for possible careers in biotechnology based on research we perform in class and leadership qualities they have defined as those they already possess and others they would like to strengthen!

Students who have mastered the standards addressed in this lesson will be able to clearly communicate the traits they must personally possess in order to be a successful leader in the biotechnology industry and justify their choices while comparing and evaluating the selections of their peers.


25 minutes

The Leadership Compass Activity allows my students to apply the concepts of the lesson in context and build on and extend their understanding of what is means to build and lead teams of biomedical technologists. Present-day medical mysteries are too complex for scientists to solve alone therefore learning to work with others and building the right team to solve problems together is critical to success in biotechnology. Although it may sound cliche, I truly want my students to know that in our laboratory community collaboration and not competition is the way to succeed and to gain the skills that they need to land that first position in a biotechnology laboratory! And when they get that first job, I want them to be aware of the strengths they possess and can contribute to their new team.

Students are given a leadership compass assessment, found on Page 5 and 6 of the Student Lesson Guide to determine their leadership personality. As a means of multiple measures as well as the evaluation of diverse sources of data, students are also given access to Leadership Compass Cards 1 and Leadership Compass Cards 2 which offer a profile of the gifts and obstacles of each leadership personality type. Students are encouraged to use the results of the self-assessment in conjunction with the leadership compass cards to determine their leadership personality type. After determining both their dominant and sub-dominant leadership type we create groupings using the Four Corners strategy and work in small groups with others who have identified themselves as the same leadership personality.

The goal with this activity is to increase collisions among students, teambuild and practice completing cooperative and collaborative tasks. After students have created four groups, depending on their self-identified leadership personality groups (North, South, East, and West), they will engage in a group discussion in which they discuss and chart their responses to the Leadership Compass Activity Group Discussion Questions.

As we conclude this portion of the lesson students are asked to return to their seats and reflect, either in writing in their lab journal or merely consider introspectively the following questions:

- "What do you think the implications are for you and your leadership practice?"

- "Consider how best to work with those with other leadership personalities, was this exercise helpful in trying to deal with others who are different from yourself?"

- "How could your tendency work for or against you when working with others in organizations or the community?"


15 minutes

In order to assess the effectiveness of the lesson, students will complete a NextLessons Rank and Reason Task in which they rank several characteristics of an effective leader in Biotechnology as  identified in the readings, leadership personality self-assessment, and discussions. Students will compare their rankings to those of their peers and complete a reflection that enables them to evaluate the rankings of others as well as justify the rankings they create.

There are several ways to approach the completion of this portion of the lesson. For those classrooms that have access to laptop or desktop computers such as my laboratory classroom, students log-on to Edmodo and select the NextLesson App from the app menu. During periods when the Internet was not available at my school site, I have projected a screen shot of the Rank and Reason Task and have had students copy the list of items to be ranked and simply indicate using numbers which order they would place the traits.

Using the "Compare With" drop down menu, students are able to observe the rankings of their peers. When completing the Rank and Reason Reflection Sheet found on Page 8 of the Student Lesson Guide students are given the opportunity to justify and defend their rankings while evaluating the ranking of their labmates and peers. I base my assessment of the objective of the lesson on each students ability to communicate in writing their individual rankings with clear, concise explanations and justifications as well as evidence from the text.

At the end of this lesson students will be able to clearly communicate what it takes to succeed as a leader in biotechnology, articulate their reasoning for their viewpoints and “paint” a valid portrait of the biomedical professional that lies within each of them!


15 minutes

Using what we gathered during our evaluation of the employment ads and building on my students love for taking "selfies" we create a valid "portrait" of a biotechnology professional by adding an appropriate caption and job description to an employment ad featuring individual members of the class! This extension activity enables students to synthesize all the information they have gained into a very personal illustration which demonstrates their learning as well as their desire to determine their future place in the biotechnology industry. In addition, once the employment ads featuring each student are displayed on the classroom windows and cabinets, they will also serve as a powerful reminder of what each student must strive for as a scholar of biotechnology.

Using the Technology Station and laptop computers in my laboratory classroom, the caption, slogan, and job description added to the Portrait of a Leader in Biotechnology Student Ad Template will be based on a career in biotechnology that students research by visiting a website such this one sponsored by AMGEN, a leader in the biotechnology industry. Students will use information they gather regarding the educational requirements, skills and abilities needed, roles and responsibilities to create an employment ad that "advertises" what it will take for each student to become THAT leader in the biotechnology industry. Students can use Page 7 of their Student Lesson Guide to capture ideas for their employment ad.

Alternatives to performing research on possible careers using the internet have included using magazines, recruitment videos and DVDs I have obtained from Human Resource officers at various biotechnology institutions, current employment ads as well as inviting panels of guest speakers to share their personal journey's in the world of biotechnology!