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for product evaluation and biological assessment in North America. “We Due to such success, the exam has been know they have the background and would likely be more qualified to be adopted by academia and private industry in in a lab and perform more complicated molecular techniques.” Arizona, and was piloted this year in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington. Equipped with the skills to work in a research laboratory, Halle Sellers was confident in a role typically filled by college students. “The BACE credential gives an upper hand to students who become certified and helps employers,” said Sellers. “I’ve always asked a lot of questions, so it’s been cool to watch and understand how things work at a molecular level. I really became interested in agriculture in this Syngenta internship and I would definitely want to do something with nematology or plant science later on.” Before graduating from the industrial biotechnology program at Vero Beach High School in May, Sellers already had five months of hands-on experience as a laboratory technician. Her success with Syngenta is due, in part, to the work of Jeffrey Bush, biotechnology teacher at Vero Beach High School. He introduced the school’s first industrial biotechnology program and the BACE two years ago. “As other states contact us to use the BACE, it is essential the bioscience industry continues to be involved,” said Mandell. “We’ve made significant efforts to travel to these states, present at national conferences and discuss with any interested parties how we developed the credential, and how it aligns with industry needs nationally at the entry level. We also work closely at the state and local levels with anyone interested in piloting or adopting the credentialing exam.” “The BACE is completely different from other exams the students usually take,” said Bush. “Most of the students I teach are all four-year college Such has been the case at the Southern bound and take several advanced placement courses. This is the only type Oklahoma Technology Center in Ardmore, of test for an advanced course with a hands-on component, which makes where Dr. Fiona McAlister has been impressed the exam very different from anything else I have administered. It also not only with the BACE as a tool for validating justifies all the hard work the students have done in their last two years and student skills, but also with its impact on student makes sure that their lab techniques really do count.” confidence. 74 florida.HIGH.TECH 2017