Astana Welcomes 305 Young Biologists for International Olympiad

ASTANA – The 35th International Biology Olympiad (IBO) for schoolchildren kicked off in Astana on July 7, with 305 young biologists from around the world participating.

Kazakh national team at IBO 2024. Photo credit: Kazakh Ministry of Education press service

IBO is one of the top seven international competitions among schoolchildren. Over the past 28 years, Kazakhstan’s students have successfully represented the country, winning more than 70 awards. Such a track record enabled Kazakhstan to host the Olympiad in Astana this year. The hosting of IBO is a significant milestone in Kazakhstan’s journey to drive progress in science.  

Kazakh Minister of Education Gani Beisembayev said the competition will contribute to building a knowledgeable generation and help empower them with opportunities in the biology field.

“I believe that many of you will become famous biologists in the future and make great discoveries of the millennium. Perhaps future Nobel Prize laureates are sitting among us. I am sure that this olympiad will be an important stage for each of you in choosing a profession, achieving significant successes for the benefit of world science, while your stay in Kazakhstan will give you unforgettable impressions of our traditions, hospitality and friendship,” said Beisembayev.

Gazdembek Tursunov, the head of the Daryn republican scientific and practical center, highlighted the significant role of Kazakh scientists and the Ministry of Education in preparing for the olympiad.

“To prepare for this Olympiad, young Kazakh biologists spent over a year developing the tasks. Now, all tasks have been thoroughly examined and have received high praise from distinguished international scientists. It is a great honor for our nation that our education sector is held in such high regard,” he said.

A total of 275 jury members arrived to Kazakhstan to evaluate the rounds of the olympiad. It will consist of two theoretical and four practical rounds on biochemistry, molecular biology, bioinformatics, and the anatomy and physiology of animals.

The competitors have also been preparing well. The Kazakh national team consists of four schoolchildren, including Nurtore Torekhanuly, an 11th-grade student whose interest in biology began in seventh grade.

“In seventh grade, when I joined the Lyceum of Educational Innovation, natural science subjects were taught in great depth, particularly chemistry, biology, and physics. Among those, I found biology to be the most interesting, as it delved into the study of living organisms. Over the next five years, I actively participated in biology olympiads, driven by my interest in the subject,” said Torekhanuly.

“This year, the olympiad is being held in Kazakhstan. As a representative of my country, I want to bring home a medal, so I will do my best,” he added.

The IBO 2024 will run until July 14.

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