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Four of the UK's most gifted sixth form students competed against some of the top young biologists from around the world at the 24th International Biology Olympiad (24th IBO) in Bern, Switzerland last week. The elite UK team was made up of the top four students from the British Biology Olympiad, a competition organised by the Society of Biology's UK Biology Competitions Special Interest Group. The team returned to the UK on Sunday with three silvers and a bronze medal.

The Society of Biology's Chief Executive Dr Mark Downs said: "Congratulations to Scarlett, Matthew, Katherine and Anna on their achievements at the final of the International Biology Olympiad and being such great ambassadors for the UK education system. They are positive role models for other students and show the UK's capability in the life sciences at a time when international competition is stronger than ever."

The team left for Switzerland on the 12th July to prepare for the start of the competition. The 24th IBO began with a grand opening ceremony on Sunday 14th July, with a guided tour and introduction to the laboratories to be used for practical work during the competition on Monday morning and a tour of Bern in the afternoon. The students had practical exams on Tuesday 16th and theory papers on Thursday 18th July.

As part of the competition they took theory exam papers to test their knowledge and understanding of advanced biology and their laboratory skills were tested by a number of challenging practical tasks. It wasn't all hard work; the students also took part in social events, where they learned about the culture, cuisine and society in Switzerland.

Congratulations to Scarlett, Matthew, Katherine and Anna on their much deserved success and achieving 3 silvers and a bronze medal.

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