Biological Sciences


Bioathlon adapts to COVID-19!

Hands-on, Problem Solving Competition

To stimulate an interest in biology careers, the Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University has sponsored a single-day, hands-on, problem solving competition known as the Bioathlon for the past 30 years.

Due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, we are unable to host the event on our campus this year. However, we believe it is more important than ever to inspire young biologists to meet the challenges our society is facing. Therefore, we're adapting Bioathlon for our current situation.

This year, high schools are invited to enter a team of four students to compete in fun-filled activities that will be sent to you! Packages with surprise materials and instructions will be delivered in early May. Teams will have a couple weeks to complete each project at school or home. Afterwards, everyone will come together for a live virtual ceremony via Zoom.

2021 Project Topics

Through these projects, students must demonstrate organizational skills, critical and creative thinking, knowledge of biological concepts, and laboratory skills.

Hands-On Dissection

Students will be sent a preserved vertebrate animal and must identify a list of organs and other anatomical structures, while following their high school's safety protocols. Students will complete the dissection under the supervision of their teacher at school, but will not have access to any dissection guides or other assistance. Students will be graded on the quality of their dissections and number of correct identifications by submitting images to an online form.

Asynchronous Virtual Case Study

Students will work through a case study to help them understand the basics of blood typing using the standard ABO systems as well as the Rhesus factor. Then they will apply that information to understand the findings of a publication that possibly links blood type to COVID-19 susceptibility. Students will be graded on the knowledge of blood typing and their ability to critically assess findings from scientific manuscripts. 

Register by Friday, April 23!

Recent Participants


  • A.D. Johnston (Bessemer)
  • Baraga
  • Calumet
  • Chassell
  • Dollar Bay
  • Forest Park
  • Hancock
  • Houghton
  • Jeffers
  • Lake Linden
  • L’Anse
  • L.L. Wright (Ironwood)
  • Laona 
  • Negaunee
  • Superior Central
  • Wakefield
  • Watersmeet
  • West Iron County
    (Iron River)
  • Westwood (Ishpeming)