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These 13 students are the best young biologists in Germany

27. February 2018

Congratulations to the 13 best young biologists from seven German states!

On Friday an eventful and exhausting week came to an for 45 students. They met with their peers for a week at the IPN, the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education in Kiel to measure their knowledge and skills in biology. The 45 students who came to the IPN in Kiel were the best of 1500 who started in the selection competition for the International Biology Olympiad.

After an initial meeting, the week began with crash courses and seminars, which put final touches on the participants' theoretical and practical skills. Then came demanding practical examinations in botany, zoology and physiology / biochemistry, followed by a 4.5-hour theoretical exam testing the most important knowledge domains in biology. While the students later enjoyed joint leisure activities, the supervisor team evaluated the exams to determine a ranking.

On Thursday we visited the company Eppendorf in Hamburg, which gave us an exciting insight into a commercial enterprise in the field of biological applications. In addition to practical exercises on laboratory activities, the program included lectures, e.g., on professional opportunities and requirements of biologists in business. The 13 qualifiers for the 4th and final round of the 2018 Biology Olympiad were announced at a major ceremony at Eppendorf on Friday.

The JazzCombo of the Ricarda-Huch-Schule Kiel provided the music for the event and Dr. Uwe Piatkowski from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel presented exciting opportunities for biological research in his lecture on sperm whale extinction in the mud flats.

The 13 best German junior biologists are:

1st place: Bruno Ederer, Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium (Jena)
2nd place: Paul Bunck, Gymnasium Penzberg (Penzberg)
3rd place: Kieran Didi, Erzbischöfliches St. Joseph-Gymnasium (Rheinbach)
4th pace: Sophia Häußler,  Schönbuch-Gymnasium (Holzgerlingen)
5th place: Pascal Reeck, Wilhelm-Ostwald-Schule, (Leipzig)
6th place: Florian Schneider, Städt. Albert-Schweitzer-Gymnasium (Plettenberg)
7th place: Marvin Alberts, Erzbischöfliches St. Joseph-Gymnasium (Rheinbach)
8th place: David Ventzke, Wilhelm-Ostwald-Schule, (Leipzig)
9th place: Jan Lukas Hobrock, Städt. Archigymnasium (Soest)
10th place: Hendrik Michel, Otto-Kühne-Schule Godesberg GmbH (Bonn)
11th place: Lea Feldmann, Französisches Gymnasium (Berlin)
12th place: Christoph Doktor, Wilhelm-Ostwald-Schule, (Leipzig)
13th place: Salome Schwark, Internatsschule Schloss Hansenberg (Geisenheim)

Sought after were not only the qualification certificates for the 4th selection round and numerous material prizes, but also the research internships covering a wide variety of biological disciplines. The range of internships organized by the “Fördeverein der BiologieOlympiade” and also financed with the support of VBIO (German Life Sciences Association) also included internships in Germany and abroad this year. The four most successful young participants (born in 2001 or later) also qualified for the selection round of the European Science Olympiad, which will be held in Potsdam in March. Eight starting positions were also awarded to young biologists for the Neuroscience Olympiad.

At the end of May, the 13 participants in the final round of the Biology Olympiad at the IPN in Kiel will select the four members of the national team who will compete for gold, silver and bronze for Germany at the 29th International Biology Olympiad in Tehran, Iran in July.

Special thanks for an eventful and intense week go to the biology laboratory at the IPN and the company Eppendorf in Hamburg and especially to the supporters of the "Förderverein der BiologieOlympiade", who support the competition with great dedication and enthusiasm.

PD Dr. Burkhard Schroeter
Phone: 0431 / 880 3135