Germany's best biology talents at the IPN

March 6th, 2020

Participants and supervisors of the 3rd round in the selection competition for the 30th IBO at Eppendorf AG in Hamburg

The 13 best young biologists come from eight federal states!

An eventful and exhausting week ended on Friday for 45 students. The best 45 biology talents from almost 1200 in the first round of the nationwide selection competition met for the third selection round at the IPN, the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education in Kiel, for a week to compete in biology.

The week began after an initial introduction with crash courses and seminars, in which the final touches were put on the theoretical and practical skills of the participants. Afterwards, challenging practical exams in botany, zoology and physiology/biochemistry were on the agenda, followed by a 4.5-hour theoretical exam in which questions on the most important areas of knowledge in biology had to be answered.

Biology was also the focus of attention in addition to the exams: On Thursday, for example, the students visited Eppendorf AG in Hamburg. Here, the students were able to learn practical skills in pipetting, gained an insight into the biological experiments on the International Space Station ISS and received many tips on the question of which professions can be pursued with a degree in biology.

The topic also played a role in the presentation at the award ceremony on Friday, which was again held on the premises of Eppendorf AG in Hamburg. The keynote lecture by PD Dr. Cornelius Courts (Department of Forensic Genetics at the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the UKSH, Kiel), entitled "Forensic Molecular Biology - From the Laboratory to the Scene of the Crime", provided a new and exciting insight into a field of biology generally characterized by a depiction of reality far removed from reality in television series. A very stimulating lecture which, with its examples from everyday forensic medicine, gave rise to many questions.

It was also important for the students to meet like-minded people and have a lively exchange with each other and with the student supervisors.

The winners of the 3rd selection round were awarded at the festive awards ceremony on Friday, which was musically accompanied by the jazz combo of the Ricarda-Huch-Schule Kiel.

The 13 best young German biologists are

1st place: Fabian Kutz, Carl-Friedrich-Gauß-Gymnasium (Frankfurt, Oder)

2nd place: Valentina Spielmann, Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium (Jena)

3rd place: Damian Groß, Werner-von-Siemens Grammar School (Magdeburg)

4th place: Fynn Kessels, Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium (Jena)

5th place: Ilka Jaschinski, Martin-Andersen-Nexö-Gymnasium (Dresden)

6th place: David Sauer, Life-Science Lab Heidelberg (Heidelberg)

Place 7: Nantje Nageler, Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium (Jena)

8th place: Klara Frahnert, Weinberg grammar school (Kleinmachnow)

9th place: Tobias Messer, Martin-Andersen-Nexö-Gymnasium (Dresden)

10th place: Kasimir Reich, Humboldt High School (Potsdam)

11th place: Ben Schneider, Georg-Chr.-Lichtenberg School (Göttingen)

Place 12: Nina Rack, Old King School (Kronberg)

13th place: Maximilian Mittl, Carl-Orff-Gymnasium (Unterschleißheim)

In another selection round in May, the four German Olympians who will travel as the German national team to the 31st International Biology Olympiad in Nagasaki, Japan, this summer will be selected from these thirteen students.

In addition to numerous book prizes, research internships, which cover a wide range of biological disciplines, were particularly sought after. The range of internships, which are organized by the Association for the Promotion of the Biology Olympiad and also financed with the support of VBIO, again included internships in Germany and abroad.

The four most successful young participants (born in 2002 or later) also qualified for the selection round of the European Science Olympics (EUSO), which will be held in Potsdam in March. In addition, six starting slots for the German Neuroscience Olympiad (DNO) could also be awarded to young biologists.

Special thanks for an eventful and exciting week go to the biology laboratory at the IPN, Eppendorf AG in Hamburg and especially to the supervisors of the Förderverein der BiologieOlympiade, who support the competition with great commitment and enthusiasm.

The annual selection competition for the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), the Biology Olympiad in Germany, is organized by the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN) at Kiel University on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and in cooperation with the Ministries of Culture of the Federal States.

Liaison to the competition management:

PD Dr. Burkhard Schroeter
IPN at Kiel University
Olshausenstrasse 62
24118 Kiel
Phone +49 (0)431 / 880 3135