Countryside High School ISTEM

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

Course Progression

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.


Mrs. McNicol

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.