Sound School Students Give State Legislators Tour of School


The Sound School Regional Vocational Aquaculture Center’s Genetics and Biotechnology Program hosted a tour for the CT Legislators, State Board of Education. During the tour, state Senator Toni N. Harp, state Rep. Toni E. Walker, Terry Jones (representing Agriscience and Technology Centers on the State Board of Education), Robert Klancko (Chairman of the State Consulting Committee for Agriscience and Technology Education), Bill Davenport (Director of Agriscience Education for CT School Region 14) were introduced to the biotechnology research and work being conducted by local high school students.
Some of the students involved in the tour were those who testified about increasing funding for Connecticut’s Vocational Agriculture Education programs before the state Legislature’s Appropriations Committee at the State Capitol on February 21st.  At that hearing, the students invited legislators to come to The Sound School and visit a working biotechnology lab.
Genetics and Biotechnology seniors Elina Petrashkevich, Krista Evangelista and Lauren Modine conducted an Electrophoresis (DNA fingerprinting) experiment with the legislators, giving them some hands-on experience.  Student Casey Snyder spoke about how the college and career component of the course helped her to decide on Unity College in Maine and a career in wildlife biology.
Seniors Samantha Peters, Sara Foster and Selena Rivera demonstrated their microbiology skills and explained their collaborative experiment with University of New Haven undergraduate student, Christina Kling. They are working on using bacteriophage viruses as a new way to treat tuberculosis.
Kyrstyn Devlin spoke with the visitors about her internship with former Sound School student Cara Cama at Yale University’s medical research laboratories assisting her research project on genes related to obesity in mice. She performs procedures such as genotyping, PCR, and DNA tail digestion.
The group was then led on a tour of the Biotechnology and Fish Production Laboratory where they saw the high school students working on the Senior Capstone projects. Research projects include the hatching and raising lobsters, breeding oysters and raising cobia.
A special thanks goes to Bill Davenport and Genetics and Biotechnology teacher, George Baldwin who organized this visit.
The Sound School is one of the 19 Agriculture Science and Technology centers
for high school students in CT. The school is a New Haven school of choice high school that also serves 24 surrounding communities.  It is also one of the first schools to offer a Genetics and Biotechnology course to high school students.
For more information about The Sound School Biotechnology program contact George Baldwin at