Abingdon School sixth form student Patrick McCubbin was part of the UK’s four-person team to compete in the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) 2018 in Iran earlier this month. Patrick was placed 16th out of 261 international competitors, earning a gold medal. As a team, the UK broke the record for the best performance of a UK team at an IBO, together receiving three gold medals and one silver.
Patrick is now in touch with other young biologists from all over the world having competed against students from almost 70 countries.
The annual IBO brings together the most gifted young biology talents from around the world. The pre-university students are all winners of their respective national Biology Olympiads. The IBO aims to challenge this next generation of aspiring scientists through a series of theory and practical biological problems testing inventiveness, creativity and perseverance as well as knowledge of biology.
Speaking about his success Patrick said: “To perform so well both individually and as a UK team is a very significant achievement. However, we got so much more out of the week than just the competitive side – it was interesting to have the chance to experience a culture very different from our own, and especially important for me personally to get to know young scientists of my age from all over the world.”
Patrick was selected following a rigorous process beginning with the British Biology Olympiad back in January which involved two, one-hour multiple choice papers and close to 8000 students from 630 schools taking part. The top scorers then went through to the preliminary round of the IBO selection, taking a 90-minute written paper. Following this, 16 students were invited to the University of Warwick in mid-April, where they took four practical assessments and a written paper over two days. From the final round, four students were chosen to represent the UK at the International Biology Olympiad.
The full results table can be found here: www.ibo2018.org/articles/results/27-55