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Conducting research in Malawi and Tanzania

Conducting research in Malawi and Tanzania

A Year 12 student has proved her ability to tackle biological problems and deal with biological experiments is top in the country.

Alice Cao was selected for the New Zealand team, made up of just five students, to compete in the International Bio Olympiad (IBO) – an annual Biology competition for secondary school students.

The team were set to head to Iran for the international competition where they would have participated in a week of exams, excursions and activities.

However, due to the current political issues surrounding Iran, the New Zealand International Bio Olympiad (NZIBO) have made the decision not to attend. Instead, the students will head to Malawi and Tanzania to undertake a two-week research project.

“I am looking forward to visiting Malawi and Tanzania to look at the biodiversity of the local ecosystems, which is not a common opportunity,” says Alice.

“I also get to do a week-long scuba diving course to look at biodiversity in Lake Malawi and qualify for a PADI dive certificate.”

To be selected for the NZIBO team, Alice had to complete a series of exams.

The first was to gain entrance into the tutorial programme of around 200 students. Then there was a further camp selection exam, after the half-year tutorial programme, which put her forward to the training camp with 22 other students. At the end of the training camp, there was a three-hour practical exam followed by a three-hour theory exam.

The research trip will take place from July 8-24.

For Alice this is not only an exciting opportunity, but one which will put her in good stead for her future career path.

“While I am quite interested in getting into medicine, later in life I would definitely look at going into research.”