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Nikita Wins Silver at International Biology Olympiad

posted 24 Jul 2016, 18:21 by Debbie Stevens   [ updated 24 Jul 2016, 20:52 ]
Nikita Lyons from Waikato Diocesan School for Girls has won a Silver medal at the 27th International Biology Olympiad (IBO) held in Hanoi, Vietnam July 17-24. The Year 13 student has also secured a world ranking of 43 from 250 top biology students from 69 countries.

This is the second year Nikita has been selected as one of just four students making up the New Zealand team; in 2015, Nikita brought home a Bronze medal from the IBO in Denmark.

The IBO is a competition for secondary school students, who are winners of their respective National Biology Olympiad. In bringing together gifted students, the IBO challenges and stimulates them to expand their talents and to promote their career as scientists.

The competition involved four two-hour practical exams on Plant Anatomy and Physiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Microbiology, and Animal Anatomy, Systematics and Evolution. Two four-hour theory exams followed a few days later.

"These exams were very difficult and designed to separate out the best of the best, so it made for long stressful days,” says Nikita. “However, the overall experience and sense of accomplishment made the stress of those two days totally worthwhile.” 

The New Zealand team competed in difficult conditions - travelling from the New Zealand winter to temperatures that, at times, reached above 40 degrees Celsius. They also had time to explore Vietnam and experience the culture – the first four days of the trip was made up of sightseeing as they travelled from Ho Chi Minh city to Hanoi State University, where the IBO competition took place. 

The New Zealand team return to New Zealand on July 27 after two weeks in Vietnam. 

All four members of the New Zealand team were awarded medals: Max Langenkamp (Auckland Grammar) won a Bronze medal; and Nico van Wijk (Pinehurst School, Auckland), Connor Leadley (Christ’s College, Christchurch), and Nikita won Silver medals.