- International Biology Olympiad
The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) is a science olympiad for high school pupils. The first academic international Olympiads after the (originally Eastern European-based) International Mathematical Olympiad were launched under the auspices of the United Nations in the 1960s. The programs have gradually expanded to include more than 70 participating countries across five continents. The IBO is one of these olympiads. All participating countries send the four winners of their National Biology Olympiad to the IBO, accompanied by usually one team leader and two observers/jurors.
The aims of the IBO are to promote a career in science for talented students and to stress the importance of biology in our current society. It also provides a great opportunity to compare educational methods and exchange experiences. This is useful information to improve biology education on a national level. Since the organization of every National Olympiad requires the cooperation of many institutions, such as ministries of education, industry,
teachers' associations, universitiesand schools, communication and cooperation between those institutions is promoted and intensified. And last but not least, the IBO stimulates contact between students and teachers from many countries in a friendly environment. To demonstrate this last aim, both students and teachers swear an oath of behaving "according to the principles of fair play".
The competition itself is composed of a theoretical and practical element. The theory exams cover a wide range of Biology: Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Plant Anatomy and Physiology, Animal Anatomy and Physiology, Ethology, Genetics and Evolution, Ecology, and Biosystematics. The marks are scaled so that the theory and practical components each have a weighting of about fifty percent.
All participants are ranked based on their individual scores. These are based on the results of a theoretical and a practical test, each making up approximately fifty percent of the final score. Gold medals are awarded to the top ten percent of students, silver medals are awarded to the next twenty percent of students and bronze medals are awarded to the next thirty percent of students. Despite the oath of fair play, one student has been caught cheating and was disqualified.
The IBO official language is English. To provide equal opportunities for all participants, the tests are translated prior to the testing days. This is done by each country's own team leaders and jurors. This means they hold specific information on the tests before the participants should know. Therefore, teachers and students are lodged in separate accommodation. Only after testing they meet.
Objectives of Participants
The goals that each participant hopes to achieve in the IBO contest may vary widely from winning medals to socializing and exploring interactions between different cultures.
The importance of winning a medal differs between countries. For some students from East and
South East Asia, for example, winning a gold medal guarantees access to a university of choice and a fellowship. In some Western European countries and the United States, a medal brings almost no advantages of that kind to the student. This difference is probably reflected in the final results: many gold medals go to Asian students. Whereas some others might cheer if just one team member wins bronze, to them winning bronze would be a personal disaster. In spite of this, however, some countries whose students are much less pressured than in South East Asia have achieved outstanding success. For example, the team from the United Stateswas ranked first in 2004 when they made IBO history by being the first country to win four goldmedals. In the 2005 and 2006 IBO competition, however, China has succeeded in duplicating this most outstanding achievement: four gold medals for one nation in a single year. In 2007, Three countries won four gold medals: China, Korea, and the United States. In 2008, three countries had also won four gold medals: Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States.
Past and future IBOs
Each year, the IBO is organised by a different country.
Czechoslovakia, Olomoucin 1990
Soviet Union, Makhachkalain 1991
Czechoslovakia, Popradin 1992
Netherlands, Utrecht in 1993
Bulgaria, Varnain 1994
Thailand, Bangkokin 1995
Ukraine, Artek in 1996
Turkmenistan, Ashgabatin 1997
Germany, Kielin 1998
Sweden, Uppsalain 1999
Turkey, Antalyain 2000
Belgium, Brusselsin 2001
Latvia, Rigain 2002
Belarus, Minskin 2003
Australia, Brisbanein 2004
China, Beijingin 2005
Argentina, Río Cuarto in 2006
Canada, Saskatoon in 2007
India, Mumbaiin 2008
Japan, Tsukubain 2009
Finlandor Switzerlandor Vietnamin 2013
United Kingdomin 2016
Biology by Team
* [http://www.ibo-info.org/ Official IBO page]
* [http://www.cee.org/usabo/index.shtml USA Biology Olympiad] Websites of individual IBOs
* [http://www.ipn.uni-kiel.de/aktuell/ibo/ibo_web1.htm Kiel 1998]
* [http://teacher.ru.orebro.se/ibo/program.htm Uppsala 1999]
* [http://www.ibo2000.org.tr Antalya 2000]
* [http://ibo2001.naturalsciences.be Brussels 2001]
* [http://www.ibo2002.lv Riga 2002]
* [http://www.ibo2003.bsu.by Minsk 2003]
* [http://www.ibo2004.org.au Brisbane 2004]
* [http://www.ibo2005.org.cn/ Beijing 2005]
* [http://www.ibo2006.org.ar/ Rio Cuarto 2006]
* [http://ibo2007.usask.ca/ Saskatoon 2007] [http://ibo2007.usask.ca/results.html 2007 Winners List]
* [http://web.gnowledge.org/ibo2008/ Mumbai 2008]
* [http://ibo2009.org/index_e.html Tsukuba 2009]
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