IBO Event Follow Up

After months of planning we’re delighted that the 28th International Biology Olympiad has passed with great success. Over 250 students represented 60 nations packed into the Warwick Art’s centre for the opening ceremony as they prepared for the week long competition. The Opening Ceremony was a massive success,which featured stunning performances authentic to the four countries of the UK, as well as a speech from Nobel laureate Sir Paul Nurse, and addresses from leaders of the Royal Society of Biology, the University of Warwick, and of course the Biology Olympiad itself.

Throughout the week the students took part in a number of practical tests to assess their practical biology skills, the participants also had to sit a gruelling exam which has been labelled “the most crafted IBO exam in history” which tested their knowledge to the max. Although the Olympiad is academically testing, there is always an opportunity to enjoy the surroundings and cultures of the host nation. Participants enjoyed a trip to medieval Warwick Castle and participated in activities such as jousting and archery – it is worth pointing out no participant was injured!

The final day of the IBO is all about the awards ceremony: it forms the high point of the week towards which all efforts so far have led. For better or worse, many countries use the exam results as a means of justifying the value of participation in the whole competition, and the amount of pressure on teams to deliver was clear to all. As medals were awarded, cheers swept through the audience, and flash bulbs punctuated the scene — the sense of joy and appreciation of a friend’s success was unrivaled.

We would like to sincerely thank the Royal Society of Biology for allowing us to partner with them in the sponsorship of the event. The event truly encompasses the values of exploration, inspiration and education which Philip Harris embodies.