Bio-Rad Explorer & HOSA Student Resource and Study Center

Explore the Power & Promise of Biotechnology​​​​

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Latest Skills Planning Guide

Bio-Rad Laboratories is a global leader in products for life science research, clinical diagnostics, and life science education. We are proud to sponsor the HOSA Competitive Event in Biotechnology, which encourages HOSA members to explore career options and understand how biotechnology will impact the future of medicine.

Visit the HOSA Future Health Professionals website for more information about this and other Competitive Events.

HOSA Competitive Event in Biotechnology

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


  • Visit the HOSA website for:

    • Updated competitive event guidelines
    • Sample scenarios
    • Grading rubrics

    Also check your state or country-specific websites for any specific details.

  • HOSA Advisors:

    Download the Skills Planning Guide to help you select skills and plan local, regional, and state skills competitive events.

  • Biotechnology Textbook

    Biotechnology: A Laboratory Textbook​

    A primary resource for the Biotechnology Competitive Event, this textbook is available from Bio-Rad and Flinn Scientific (U.S. and Canada only). A digital version is also available through VitalSource. Purchasing from Bio-Rad requires a Bio-Rad purchasing account. HOSA members must work with their Advisors to purchase from Bio-Rad.

  • 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 offers the supplies needed for the Round Two Skills portion of the competitive event.

Biotechnology: A Laboratory Textbook​ is available from Bio-Rad and Flinn Scientific (U.S. and Canada only). An electronic subscription is also available through VitalSource.

All purchases from Bio-Rad require a Bio-Rad purchasing account, and products will be shipped to the address linked to the purchasing account. Products cannot be shipped to a home address.

  • HOSA members: please work with your Advisor to place any order through Bio-Rad.
  • Advisors: please contact us for help in finding or using your school purchasing account.
ChemiDoc MP
Equipment & 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