Aarhus University Seal

Biology Olympiad semi-final held at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

This week, the semi-finals of the Biology Olympiad were held for the 30 most talented upper secondary school students in biology in Denmark. The top 15 will advance to the final, where the top four will represent Denmark at the International Biology Olympiad, which this year will be held in Kazakhstan from 7-14 July 2024.

There was a lot of concentration as the 30 upper secondary school students answered the questions about semaglutide (photo: Gregers Rom Andersen).

The semi-final includes a theoretical test and two practical experiments prepared by university staff. At the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG), Gregers Rom Andersen was responsible for the practical aspects of the semi-final. In this year's semi-final, the students had to examine the peptide semaglutide, which is the active ingredient in the drugs Ozempic , Rybelsus and Wegovy.

Gregers Rom Andersen: "Our department has also been part of the semi-final before, and it is a great pleasure to see how skilful these young people are with the exercises we have prepared for them. There is no doubt that they are among the best at biology at upper secondary school level in Denmark, and of course we hope that they will choose one of our programmes in molecular biology or molecular medicine."

The National Biology Olympiad in Denmark consists of a school round, a semi-final, a final and some training rounds. Gradually, the number of participants is reduced from many in the school round to the top 30 in the semi-final, top 15 in the final and the four winners who will represent Denmark at the IBO.

Each round includes a written test in biology and biotechnology subject areas such as cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, ecology, genetics and evolution. The semi-finals and finals also include several practical laboratory experiments. The training rounds cover areas of biology that are not part of the daily biology/biotech lessons and students are expected to prepare for these.

The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) is a competition in theoretical biology and practical laboratory exercises for students from all over the world. Participants are high school students with an interest in biology and biotechnology who have not reached the age of 20 by 1 July of that year and who are winners of their national Biology Olympiad.

The ScienceOlympiad consists of six independent national Olympiads in biology, computer science, physics, geography, chemistry and maths. The Olympiads are held annually, and all upper secondary education programmes in Denmark are invited to participate. The purpose of the ScienceOlympics is to encourage young scientific talents to develop their skills, interest and knowledge of science together with other talented young people.

Source: Biologiolympiaden Danmark