Olimpíada Portuguesa de Biologia
In Portugal, scholar year runs from September to June, with some exams running in July. In September the PBO (Portuguese Biology Olympiad) site in the internet is set-up with all the schedule and information for the Olympiads each year (http://www.ordembiologos.pt/olimpiadasportuguesasbiologia/).
The Ministry of Education sends an invitation letter to all schools in the country, plus a poster that schools can print and fix on the walls
OBio also sends press releases to major newspapers and TV chanels.
• Which institution is the main organizer?
The PBO are organized by the National Biologists Association (Ordem dos Biólogos, www.ordembiologos.pt) a non-profitable public institution that has the responsibility to regulate the profession of Biologist. “Agência Ciência Viva, http://www.cienciaviva.pt/home/” a public organization that promotes science for the general public and mostly for young students is a co-partner of the PBO, which is also supported by the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science and by the Secretary of State for Sports and Youth.
• How many rounds do you have?
• When is the 1st, 2nd, 3rd,... round?
First round: 17-01-2014
Second round: 02-04-2014
Third round: 17-05-2014
• Which type of schools are involved?
Public and private secondary level schools (10th,11th and 12th grade). There are 12 grades pre-university in Portugal
How is the final round organized?
Final round gathers the 50 best students from the second round, in Lisbon, where they spend a whole morning competing on one theoretical and two practical tests. These are performed at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. Students arrive on a Friday night, sleep one night in Lisbon and perform the fianl round on a Saturday morning.
First round: multiple choices
Second round: Multiple choices
Third and final round: Multiple choice, small assay and 2 practical exams
The testes are produced by an Exam Committee including researchers from Universities (Professors) and Research Centers and Secondary teachers. OBio coordinates the Exam Committee.
The 2 first rounds are made at school.
The third round is made at FCUL (Faculty of Sciences of Lisbon University)
For the selected students, they have 2 days training at research centres in Lisbon and Cantanhede
IST (Faculty of Engineering)
FCUL (Faculty of Sciences of Lisbon UNiversity)
INIAV (NAtional Institute for Agrarian and Veterinarian Research)
ISPA (Institute for Psichology and Life Sciences)
BIOCANT (Research Centre for Biotechnology)
Studnts can pratice with old tests at school. It will depend on their Biology teacher how often they will do it.
For National rounds they will use high school textbooks
For IBO they will use Campbell
Students (and teachers) are awarded a glass trophy and/or medals plus certificates.
The 10 best classified in each year (10th, 11th and 12th) are awarded small tokens from the sponsors (books, school material, bags, phone cards, tickets to Aquarium (Oceanário de Lisboa), Lisbon Zoo and Zoo Parks (Zoomarine)
The 4 selected to IBO will get a Campbell, a photo camera and a book about nature photography. They are also offer an interaction with dolphins at Zoomarine
There is a ceremony to deliver the prizes, which involves over 200 people in one auditorium.
The Minister of Science and Education is present and delivers the prizes to the teachers and to top students.
The ceremony is transmitted on-line. Main newspapers are present.
Results are disclosed by press release.
Major companies sponsor the event and they also disclose it in their websites.
Agência Ciência Viva and FCUL help in the organization.
Money sponsorship is attributed by:
Agência Ciência Viva
Ministry of Science and Education
Many companies support the event offering prizes and goods:
The Ministry of Education helps in contacting schools, provides financial support and the Minister is present on the awarding ceremony.
Every student has to perform the same tests at the same in every school of the country (mainland or islands: Madeira and Azores)
All tests are marked at OBio (tests are sent from the schools to the Olympiad headquarters)
Teachers sign an agreement for fair-play
413 schools and 15 000 students which represent over 75% of the schools and over 40% of the potential students (those with the discipline of Biology)