New Biotech Scholarships Offered by Iowa Biotechnology Association, Des Moines Public Schools

The following press release was written and provided by the Iowa Biotechnology Association:

The Iowa Biotechnology Association (IowaBio) is partnering with Mrs. Kacia Cain, Des Moines Public Schools Central Campus’ Anatomy & Physiology and Biotechnology teacher, to offer scholarships for students participating in Cain’s Central Campus College Biotechnology course.  This new Biotechnology Scholarship awards $500 to every student who completes the year-long course and meets the necessary criteria, which include:

  • Completing the full College Biotechnology course (Intro to Biology and Intro to Biotechnology)
  • Earning a B- or higher in the Intro to Biotechnology class
  • Enrolling in a college or University in the state of Iowa (Community College or a 4-year institution)
  • Declaring a major in a science or agriculture field

“Both IowaBio and Des Moines Public Schools are excited to offer this Biotechnology Scholarship opportunity to students in central Iowa.  We have contacted school counselors in the Des Moines school district about the scholarship and anticipate there will be a lot of interest among students,” Said Rachel Hurley, Executive Director of IowaBio.

Interested students and parents in the Des Moines area can contact their school to learn how to sign up for the course. Additional questions regarding the College Biotechnology Course or the scholarship are to be directed to Melissa Moyer, IowaBio’s Associate Director at 

About Central Campus and the College Biotechnology Course
Central Campus courses complement and extend the programs of central Iowa schools, offering unique academic and career opportunities that direct, inspire, and motivate a diverse group of students.  More information can be found at

The Central Campus College Biotechnology course explores the basics of biotechnology.  Biotechnology is the study of DNA and its genes, including the science behind how DNA is used in forensics, genes expression (protein formation and use), mutation and transformation from one organism to another. In this course, students will learn:

  • Laboratory techniques in DNA extraction, purification, visualization (electrophoresis), transformation, and amplification (PCR)
  • Microbiology in both lab and lecture
  • The science behind current stem cell research, cancer and genetically modified crops (GMO)
  • The bioethics of stem cells, GMO and biofuels

Students must earn a cumulative passing grade for all work, including laboratory and lecture exams, experimental write-ups and projects.

About the Iowa Biotechnology Association (IowaBio)
Since 1994, the Iowa Biotechnology Association (IowaBio) has provided benefits and services to promote the interests and growth of the life sciences industries in Iowa.  They are a non-profit, membership-based organization with a diversified membership including industry companies from all segments of biotechnology, universities & colleges, state & federal associations, as well as numerous service & support companies.  Education is one of IowaBio’s top interests.  They are always looking for new ways to support and encourage young scientific minds and help students understand the array of opportunities that are available to them, many of which are in the state of Iowa.  More information can be found at (see the Education page under the “Resources” tab).

About Kacia Cain
Kacia Cain, Central Campus’ Anatomy & Physiology and Biotechnology teacher, displays a constant desire to help students achieve academic success and develop a path toward higher education.  She has received several awards for her work, including Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year for the state of Iowa in 2011 and the Excellence in Science Teaching Award, presented to six Iowa educators in 2013.