A team from Qatar is participating in the 30th International Biology Olympiad, taking place in the city of Szeged in Hungary until July 21.
The team includes four students from different schools in Qatar: Maryam Abdul Aziz al-Kuwari from Al Bayan Secondary School for Girls, Mohamed Nasser al-Ansari from Noor Al Khaleej International School, Nasser Naseeb al-Manhali from Hamad Bin Abdullah Secondary School for Boys and Ali Ibrahim al-Haddad from Al Maha Academy for Boys.
The team is being accompanied by educational guiding experts from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and supervisors from the participating schools.
The Olympiad marks the second participation of Qatar in the international competition that consists of two tests in biology, one theoretical and the other practical. The international scientific competition is held annually in a different country for secondary school students under 20 years of age, with the objective of testing their scientific skills in solving problems pertaining to biology.
The Olympiad represents also the opportunity for students to have first-hand contact with biological experiments at an advanced academic level.
Last April, the four students received extensive training on practical skills related to the international practical test in preparation for the
Olympiad. The team resumed preparations for the big event after the final school tests from June 24-July 9.
The students tested their performance against the previous tests on various biology topics and were trained on computer programmes in the virtual laboratories.
The training had a positive impact in shaping the character of the students and enriching them academically on various branches of biology, the ministry said in a statement.
Al-Kuwari, a member of the Qatari team, said: “My participation in the International Biology Olympiad was thanks to the encouragement of my teacher and colleagues. We sat for a placement test to select the best students who will represent Qatar in this competition. Thanks to Allah, I was qualified for this stage, which is one of the most important stages in the competition.”
The student added that preparing for the competition has improved her practical skills and equipped her with determination to compete with a braveheart. She expressed gratitude to the school administration and her teachers who motivated and assisted them to reach this stage.
The training programme for the 2019 International Olympiad included several stages.
The first stage was at Qatar University where students were trained in laboratories under the supervision of university professors for improving their scientific skills for the international Olympiad. The first stage lasted for 11 days (five hours a day).
The second phase consisted of practical tests (experiments) in various branches of Biology at Qatar Science and Technology Secondary School under the supervision of international trainers.
The third and final stage took place from June 24-July 9 (four hours a day) at Qatar Banking Studies and Business Administration Secondary School.
The students were trained on the previous theoretical tests and were briefed on the different concepts in Biology.
The students were also trained in programmes and applications to boost their skills in mathematics that are necessary in the international Olympiad.
“The Ministry of Education and Higher Education wishes the Qatari team all the best in the competition and to succeed and achieve the
aspirations of the ministry in the International Biology Olympiad,” the statement adds.