We hope you will find this site informative, up to date, relevant, and that it will answer all your questions regarding the NZIBO and its activities. If you have any questions please contact the appropriate committee member, as listed on the NZIBO Committee Page.
The function of this front page is to highlight up coming initiatives, bring to your attention things of which we are proud and to generally provide a snapshot of activities that have or are about to take place. It is our intention to update this front page regularly.
Registration for the NZIBO 2014
To register to participate in the selection process for the 2014 NZIBO please click the Register button below.
The registration fee for the entrance exam is $30.00 per student. Students from schools that have not participated in NZIBO previously can register for $15.00 per student. To find out whether students from your school have participated previously please check this list.
Registrations close on 9 August 2013.
2013 Team to Compete in Switzerland Announced
NZIBO has just completed a very successful training and selection camp. 22 students from around the country attended this camp and enjoyed 9 days packed full of learning and fun. The camp was hosted by Waikato University, Auckland Zoo and Massey University’s Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences with additional lecturers from Auckland University.
After sitting three gruelling exams; two practical and one theoretical, the final team was selected to represent New Zealand at the 24th International Biology Olympiad in Switzerland this July. The team is David Chou (Macleans College), Stuart Curran (Lindisfarne College), Gillian McNaughton (Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu), and Evelyn Qian (Diocesan School for Girls). They will be accompanied to Switzerland by team leaders; Dr Heather Meikle (Palmerston North Girls’ High School) and Mr Richard Hendra (Tauranga Girls’ College).
I am sure you will join with me in wishing our NZ team all the best at this competition and in thanking all of NZIBO’s sponsors, without whom we could not offer this programme to our best young biologists.
Dr Angela Sharples
Camp 2013 - A report by Gillian McNaughton
Saturday morning- Start of the holidays- Kings' College Auckland Biology Department;
22 Students gathered from all over New Zealand, selected as the top secondary school biology students with a series of exams and tutorials which started last September and continued over the summer...
The first few moments of awkwardness were soon forgotten as we realised how much we all had in common- first and foremost our passion and love for biology. This was the just the start of some amazing and lasting friendships that we made throughout the week.
We started the 10-day residential course with a fantastic lecture on Embryo Development with Prof. Fabiana Kubke from the University of Auckland. The next day, we had a challenging biostatistics lecture from Prof. Brian McArdle (also UofA) and then an amazing tour around Maungatautari, an ecological island doing lots of conservation work, despite the fact that it was pouring down with rain. This set the scene for the rest of camp; we all approached everything with enthusiasm, energy and heaps of questions! This was just the beginning of an exhilarating and inspiring week of practicals, lectures, seminars and last but not least a snorkelling trip.
For the first half of the week, the camp was based at the University of Waikato, who very generously made their biology labs and equipment available for us to use, and set up an amazing plant, fruit and seed exhibition; I really appreciated the chance to touch and dissect real specimens rather than just studying from the diagrams.
On Thursday we travelled back up to Auckland after our first practical exam, to spend a wonderful afternoon at Auckland Zoo, where among other things, we learnt about diabetic monkeys, and analysed the behaviour of the Hamadryas baboons. This was another fantastic opportunity to experience a different field of biology, and to let us see a small part of the huge body of zoo research.
The rest of the week was spent at Massey University, Albany campus, where we did further practical laboratories including a stream diversity project, and an inspiring seminar where four researchers presented a short snapshot of their work. This was eye-opening; I never knew that proteins could be so interesting or that so much research was being done into the intricacies of how they fold!
The last event of the week was a visit to the Leigh Marine Laboratories and Reserve, where we spent an afternoon collecting fish data, compiling it and then presenting our 'research' to the group. This was a great opportunity to see some current research and of course ask lots of questions. Finally, we went snorkelling, and getting close to some of the fish we had identified earlier in the day. We even saw a stingray! The evening was wrapped up with a visit to the Waiwera hot pools.
We were very fortunate to meet a representative from Pearson during the week; Pearson very generously gave each member of the camp a brand-new copy of the latest edition of Campbell Biology - our biology bible! This was very much appreciated by everyone at camp, especially those of us studying from older editions.
I came home sad to leave all my new friends, but buzzing about all the biology, both practical and theoretical, and inspired to study biology in some form or another next year at university.
I would definitely encourage anyone studying Biology in year 12 or 13 to sit the entrance exam for next years Olympiad in Term 3, there's nothing to lose and everything to gain.
This experience has been unforgettable and very enjoyable; my final thanks go to Dr Sharples, Dr Meikle, and the other staff without whom the camp wouldn't be possible.
Alumni update – Bill Chen NZIBO 2010-12
Ever since a young age I was interested in science and technology, particularly biology. During my time at Auckland International College, I became increasingly obsessed with TED.com and the informative videos found on that website. One particular video talked about 6 ways in which mushrooms could save the world.
After watching that video I decided to engage in a series of self lead experiments on growth formulas for different types of fungi. My love for biology became more theoretical during my senior year in high school. My science HOD and teacher told me about the opportunity to be a part of NZIBO, and without hesitation I decided to apply.
Being part of the NZIBO program was definitely one of the highlights of my high school career. Contrary to popular belief, the program isn't only about learning advanced biology in preparation for the IBO. Beyond that, it gives top caliber and like-minded students across New Zealand the opportunity to meet and discuss about scientific intellectual matters. Some of the students I networked with during the week long camp, I still keep in touch with on a regular basis.
NZIBO also helped me with my acceptance at many world famous universities for biology research majors. I am now majoring in Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley, hoping to focus on consulting for scientific research companies and environmental groups in the United States. I encourage all high school students with an interest in biology and science to try out for the NZIBO, is was honestly a life-changing experience!
Passionate Biologists Start Early
On August 8th, 385 talented senior biology students from 67 secondary schools will sit the NZ International Biology Olympiad entrance exam. Dr Meikle, secretary NZIBO said " This is the largest number of students from the widest range of schools ever!" At Christ's College, the students were so keen that they will sat this test at 7:15 am. The two hour multi-choice exam challenges students thinking skills and knowledge of Biology. It also gives them a sample of the type of question that they could face at the International Biology Olympiad in Bern, witzerland in 2013. From the exam cohort, a group of 80 students will be selected to participate in the 10 month tutorial training programme. This year, the NZIBO team brought home 2 Bronze and 1 Silver medal from the International Biology Olympiad in Singapore.
2012 New Zealand Team brings home the medals
The New Zealand team of Richard Chou and Evelyn Qian from Auckland, Eddie McTaggart from Nelson and SuMin Yoon from Hamilton returned today from Singapore, bringing with them two Bronze medals and a Silver medal won at the prestigious International Biology Olympiad. This international competition pits the top four young biologists from 59 countries against each other, in an intense round of practical assessments and theory examinations.
Bronze medals were won by both Evelyn Qian and SuMin Yoon with Silver won by Richard Chou. Eddie McTaggart received a Merit Certificate. This is a world class 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."
The winning team (from L to R). Richard Chou, Macleans College; Eddie McTaggart, Nelson College; Evelyn Qian, Diocesan School for Girls; SuMin Yoon, Sacred Heart Girls' College. Photographer Clark Gedney
Gold CRESTer attends NZIBO Training and Selection Camp
Congratulations to Gold CRESTer Apurva Kasture, from Palmerston North Girls High School, who attended the recent 2012 NZIBO (New Zealand International Biology Olympiad) Training and Selection Camp at the University of Waikato. Apurva was awarded her Silver CREST in March 2011. She is currently working towards a Team Gold CREST, investigating the leaching from CCA treated timber on the microbial activity and the microbial biomass of soil by increasing the number of replicates at each sampling date over an extended timeframe. Read the full story here...
Student all set for Biology Olympiad
This story is from the Hamilton Press of 9 May 2012. It's about SuMin Yoon, one of the students selected to represent New Zealand at the 2012 International Biology Olympiad in Singapore.
"Dissections and theory exams took up half of SuMin Yoon's Easter hoildays, but it was all worth it when she was named one of four students to represent New Zealand at the International Biology Olympiad in Singapore in July. Her selection comes after she and 21 other hopefuls were put through a week-long training camp...." Read the full story here.
Now's the time to start thinking about the team to represent New Zealand at the 2013 International Biology Olympiad in Switzerland 14 to 21 July 2013. Important dates for the diary are:
|2013 IBO in Switzerland||14 to 21 July 2013|
|Registrations close for the national entrance exam||9 August 2013|
|National entrance examination||21 August 2013|
|Tutorial programme begins||1 October 2013|
|Camp Selection Exam||26 February 2014|
|Practical Training Camp||April 2014|
|2014 IBO in Indonesia||July 2014|
We encourage you to register for the national entrance exam. See here.
International Biology Olympiad
More on the IBO can be found here.
Archived material from previous years
Can be found here.