Seeing high schoolers draw blood from a cow, or isolating DNA from a tube is not uncommon here at Santa Fe High School with their career and technical education program.
“I think it’s pretty cool because not a lot of people have the chance to do stuff like this,” says student Kourtnay Frank.
This program caters to all types of careers like law enforcement, finance, culinary arts, health professions and animal sciences.
And these programs are separated by several public schools all around Alachua County.
“These experiments and this content knowledge is something they don’t get until college,” says Wyland Oyama, Director of Biotechnology at Santa Fe HS.
Students have to stick with their extensive program for three years.
What many say makes the program so special is the hands-on approach.
“We also get the real world application,” says Kadyn Elixon, student in Agriculture Education.
Many students receive official certificates by reputable organizations, giving them a competitive edge and sometimes a job when they graduate high school.
“I just think it’s important that we develop a relationship where we both will be working together for the same goal—and the goal is their success,” says Oyama.