What is Biotech?
Biotechnology is the ISTEM strand for students who are interested in any biotechnology field such as biochemistry,
molecular biology, developmental biology, cellular biology, pharmaceuticals, modern agricultural technology, forensics,
and research in genomics. The goal of the program is to prepare students pursuing higher education by teaching them
essential skills pertinent to STEM related fields. As in all ISTEM strands, students are expected to take an overall
program that is rigorous in math and science. The Biotech classes focus on applications of math, science, and a study
of current practices in the workplace.
Students should know that the biotechnology program is heavily hands on. Close to 40% of the time is spent at the lab bench. Students will learn to be proficient with all the laboratory equipment that is current in the industry and should be capable of working in a research or industry setting once they complete the program. They take the BACE exam at the end of the program. This is the industry certification for lab technicians called the Biotechnician Assistant Credentialing Exam (BACE) | Biotility
- Biotech 1
- Biotechnology I is the introductory class. Students learn to use micropipets, analytical balances, spectrophotometers and electrophoresis units to determine the presence of DNA specific to a species or to an individual. (Techniques used in forensics, and the study of endangered species). Students study the history of biotechnology in medicine and agriculture as well.
- Biotech 2
- Biotechnology II builds on the first class. Students learn to conduct modern assays to determine protein concentrations. They learn to do column chromatography, protein electrophoresis, and DNA electrophoresis. Students cultivate bacteria and genetically modify E. coli to produce “glowing” bacteria. Students study the current biotechnical techniques for agriculture, they explore artificial selection and plant cloning. At the end of Biotech II, students have completed the formal content for the strand and may be given permission to take the BACE exam if they are leaving high school to attend early college. Students completing Biotech II are eligible for summer internships at the University of Tampa working in research laboratories.
- Biotech 3
- Biotechnology III is the culminating class in the strand. Students “work” as technicians preparing materials for use in the biotechnology I and II classes. In some cases they teach students the techniques they have learned. Students undertake a research project that they have selected based on individual interest in one of the fields of study, which they are later expected to present. They review and solidify knowledge to take the BACE exam at the end of the year. Completion of the 3rd year of Biotech results in students qualifying for the Florida Gold Seal scholarship.
Possible careers in the Information Security sector include:
☣ Forensic DNA Analyst
☣ Laboratory Technician
☣ Health and Safety Specialist
☣ Bioinformatics Specialist
☣ Animal Technician
☣ Research Associate
☣ Laboratory Support Worker
Biotechnician Assistant Credentialing Exam (BACE) | Biotility
- The Microsoft Technology Associate Security Fundamentals exam prepares students for the CompTIA Security+ exam by giving them a basic understanding of concepts included in information security field.
Ann McNicol has taught science for 28 years. She has taught classes in all levels of biology, chemistry at the high school level, biochemistry, and physiology at St. Petersburg College. Prior to teaching, Mrs. McNicol worked for comparative and experimental pathology at the Vet school for the University of Florida and for the National Institutes of Health in neurological slow viruses. She has a Bachelor’s degree in zoology form USF, a Master’s degree in zoology from the University of Queensland, a Specialist degree in education from the University of Florida, additional graduate work toward a doctoral degree from Montana State, and a national board certification in chemistry.