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As many of you will know, I’ve been to the 22nd International Biology Olympiad in Taipei, as an observer with the New Zealand team. This was New Zealand’s most successful Olympiad to date, as described by the Chair of the NZ IBO committee, Dr Angela Sharples:

The New Zealand team of Benjamin Bai, Richard Chou, Vicky Tai and Jack Zhou are returning home from Taiwan, bringing with them a hat trick of medals won at the prestigious 22nd International Biology Olympiad. This competition pits the top four young biologists from 59 countries against each other, in an intense round of practical assessments and theory examinations.

A Bronze medal was won by Richard Chou and a Silver medal by Benjamin Bai. Jack Zhou won a Gold medal and is now ranked 21st in the world, New Zealand’s highest ever world ranking at the Biology Olympiad and our first Gold. It is an outstanding achievement for these young biologists. It was a fitting reward for their diligence, dedication and sheer hard work over the last year. Team Leader, Dr Angela Sharples said, “We should all be proud of the achievement of this New Zealand team. They have proved themselves to be amongst the world’s best.”

Now, as you may also know, it’s NZ’s turn to host the competition, in 2014, and we’ll need a lot of help with this. If you’re a teacher, you might like to help with the selection & training of each year’s team – marking, overseeing an on-line tutorial, or maybe coming along to the practical training camp. And please encourage your students to try out for the camp. The competition isn’t just about the 4 students who go on to the Olympiad. Any student who takes part in the training program will be gaining and honing thinking and learning skills that will stand them in good stead in any future studies that they undertake.

And if any of the program’s alumni happen to be reading this – we’d just love to have you involved as a ‘guide’ for our guests!