International Biology Olympiad: Bangladesh wins 2 bronze medals, 2 merit awards
This year, 304 students from 76 countries participated in the Olympiad. Team Bangladesh won two bronze medals and two merit awards. The medalists are Tasnim Binte Zulfiqar from SFX Greenherald International School and Raad Sharar from Rajshahi College. Abrar Jahin Tushar from Notre Dame College and Rayan Rahman from SFX Greenherald International School bagged the merit awards.
The 32nd edition of the Olympiad was replaced by a remotely-conducted competition, entitled ''IBO Challenge II''. The exams were conducted on a secure testing software and the participants were monitored through their laptop cameras. They were also being observed by the Bangladesh Biology Olympiad (BDBO) exam supervisors through a separate camera. Participants from each country were asked to attend the exam at 9 am local time.
The questions were based on concepts from animal anatomy and physiology, plant biology, ecology and cell biology to genetics and biosystematics. Most of the questions tested the participants' deductive reasoning skills. The challenging aspect of the event was attending an international exam from a remote location. "Having to set up and manage a proper environment for the exam was daunting. We had to keep an eye out for network issues while focusing on the papers simultaneously," Raad shared.
The selection for team Bangladesh began with a regional round and was followed by the national round which consisted of two exams; one multiple-choice questions-based National Biology Olympiad, and a short-answer questions based camp selection exam. "The shortlisted candidates were invited to the National Biocamp, from which IBO participants were selected. Usually this camp is lab-based and held in the National Institute of Biotechnology, but was conducted online this year," Tasnim explained.
Participating in a virtual Olympiad restricted the interactions between the participants. In this case, the IBO committee did their best to ensure that they feel connected to the venue and other participants. "The organisers did a great job at making us realise just how much we missed out on by introducing us to the culture and traditions of the country and all the interesting places we would have visited if it were a normal year," Tasnim added.
The next edition of IBO is scheduled to be held in Yerevan, Armenia, in 2022.
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