Stem Program Rivalry

Ever since the STEM Biotech program debuted in 2008, there has been competition and rivalry between both the Biotech and Engineering classes. The two are alike and contrasting in their own ways, yet still go hand in hand with each other. 

The program initially started when Biotechnology Pathway Lead Teacher, Michelle Lafevre-Bernt was offered to teach, at the time, the two-year CTE (Career Technical Education) course following her experience in the Biotech industry. From there, the pathway was able to expand and in the following years we saw the Engineering aspect of the program come to life. 

LaFevre-Bernt is the woman behind starting what we now know as the Biotech class.

 “Both of the pathways challenge you to think in different and new ways,” LaFevre-Bernt said.

She went on to explain that as far as the teachers were concerned, all STEM classes were taught the same and simply just had different goals they focus on. Each student  chooses what they can see themselves doing best in, and in turn will succeed in that pathway. 

However, the animosity that sparked arguments between the set of classes was never taken seriously. Sophomore Kyle Fraser, a two year STEM Marin Engineering student, never took the banter seriously. 

“No, I think it was completely a play-thing,” Fraser said.

 Fraser clarified that both classes are unique in their own way but shouldn’t be compared as each individual knows what they’re getting into when they sign up for the program. 

STEM Marin Engineering teacher, Nick Williams, was surprised to hear about the argument that rested between students. Williams claimed that none of the program’s teachers ever saw it like that, and treated both courses as a collective whole along with the other students in the comprehensive science classes. 

“From the school perspective, STEM Marin is all San Marin students, it’s our comprehensive students, it’s our biotech students, it’s our engineering students,” Williams said. 

From what was asked, neither LaFevre-Bernt nor Williams had any idea of what perspective the students held on either courses. They explained that if in a certain class, work was distributed more one year, the other program most likely would be doing that next year. This is being seen as the Engineering students in their second year are taking Biology, the class first year Biotech  students were enrolled in. 

Parinaz Sotoudeh, a sophomore in the STEM Engineering program, believedHMMMM from what she heard from friends that one program seemed to be easier. 

“In general, yeah, I think people have talked about STEM Engineering being easier than Biotech,” Sotoudeh said. 

She went on to elaborate that she agreed with the notion of competition being present between both sections of students but it was all just a fun joke. 

“No, I think it was all teasing and joking from Engineering’s end considering during the time we had the more simpler assignments,” Sotoudeh said. 

As new changes are being made to unify both programs, we are beginning to see a new era of the STEM Marin Biotech and Engineering course.

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