Bio-Rad Explorer and HOSA Student Resource and Study Center

Explore the Power and Promise of Biotechnology​​​​


New!HOSA Competitive Event in Biotechnology

Bio-Rad Laboratories, a global leader in the biotechnology industry, is excited to partner with HOSA to bring a new competitive event in biotechnology.

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HOSA Advisors, how may we help?

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Skills Planning Guide

Why Biotechnology?

Biotechnology encompasses “the science behind the medicine,” the tools and techniques used in medical research in the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and more. Today's students hold the promise of tomorrow’s disease interventions and cures in their hands. Biotechnology will provide them with the tools they will need.

Career opportunities in biotechnology extend from laboratory-based research to clinical diagnostics, biomanufacturing, as well as regulatory and legal affairs. The Biotechnology Competitive Event provides HOSA members with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills required in a laboratory setting. It aims to inspire members to learn more about biotechnology careers.

Event Summary

For complete rules and guidelines, and for sample questions, scenarios and grading rubrics, please visit the HOSA website.

Round One: Written Test
Round Two: Hands-On Skills Assessment
 This written test will consist of 50 multiple choice items in a maximum of 60 minutes. Topics include:
  • Biotechnology industry practices and careers
  • Biotechnology in health
  • Governmental regulation of biotechnology
  • Basic laboratory skills: PPE, preparing solutions (calculations, use of balance and other equipment), and pipetting
  • Microbiology and cell culture
  • DNA structure and analysis
  • Bacterial transformation
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • Protein structure, function, and analysis
  • Immunological applications (ELISA, western blotting)

Top scoring competitors advance to Round Two.

Round Two involves a hands-on skills assessment of one of the following:
  • Using micropipets and transfer pipets
  • Restriction digestion
  • DNA gel electrophoresis
  • DNA gel interpretation
  • Bradford protein quantitation assay
  • Bacterial transformation
  • Calculation of transformation efficiency
  • Qualitative ELISA


Keep an eye on this page. It will be updated with more resources for HOSA members and Advisors in the coming months.

​Resources to help you prepare for the HOSA Biotechnology Competitive Event include the following:​

  • Biotechnology Textbook

    Biotechnology: A Laboratory Textbook​

    A primary resource for the Biotechnology Competitive Event, this textbook blends science background and hands-on laboratory activities with real-world applications to help prepare students for this event and beyond. The Teacher Supplement also provides preparation instructions and implementation guides.

  • HOSA Biotechnology Competitive Event by Bio-Rad Explorer

    HOSA Biotechnology Competitive Event YouTube Playlist

    This dedicated playlist includes videos that demonstrate the hands-on skills that make up the Round Two Skills portion of the competitive event.

  • Biology Textbook

    Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life, AP® Edition

    This textbook is recommended by HOSA for understanding the biology behind biotechnology in more depth (available from National Geographic Learning).

  • Biotech Careers

    Biotech Careers

    This website is filled with information about career paths and opportunities within biotechnology.

Bio-Rad also offers a range of resources for students and teachers on the exam topics as well as other topics related to biotechnology and the life sciences.


Bio-Rad offers the supplies needed for the Round Two Skills portion of the competitive event.

ChemiDoc MP
Equipment and Supplies
Educational Kits

Visit the following product pages for equipment and consumables related to the Biotechnology Competitive Event:

The following kits provide the reagents and consumables needed for students to learn and prepare the Round Two Skills portion of the competitive event. They require equipment that is common to most Biology or AP Biology classroom labs.

Visit these product pages for more information and supplemental instructional materials and learning resources.

  • Forensic DNA Fingerprinting Kit — learn how to perform restriction digestion, DNA gel electrophoresis, and gel analysis — core techniques in cloning and genetic engineering
  • pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit — learn bacterial transformation and the calculation of transformation efficiency — genetically engineer bacteria to glow green under UV light!
  • Got Protein Kit? — learn the Bradford protein quantitation method, a technique used in labs after purification of engineered proteins or before activity assays
  • ELISA Immuno Explorer Kit — learn the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique and its use in myriad diagnostic applications