Costa Rica

„Costa Rican Biological Sciences Olympics“

Costa Rica
  • Established since: 2007
  • Website: Official website
  • Website language: Spanish (Costa Rica)

Contact data

Country coordinator

MSc Nelson Muñoz Simon

Hosting institution

Universidad Nacional
Avenida 1, Calle 9, 206
40101, Heredia
Costa Rica


Appointing institution

Universidad Nacional

Organization & structure

The National Biology Olympiad is organized by a committee headed by Universidad Nacional with the collaboration of representatives of the public universities: Universidad de Costa Rica and Universidad Estatal a Distancia, one representative of the Ministry of Public Education and one for the Ministry of Science and Technology.

NBO consist of two rounds: The "national" and the "final" with two categories A and B. In category A, only students from 10th and 11th grade of highschool compete, since biology is thought only at those school levels .Category B is attended by students who are in 7th, 8th and 9th grades of high school.

The national round takes place in 13 venues distributed throughout the country on every April while the finals are held in Universidad Nacional on June.

Number of students in first round

800 to 1200


The Olympiad is organized in two rounds, a national, in which students take only a theoretical exams with multiple-choice items. And a final round, which has two tests: a theoretical with multiple-choice and a field or laboratory test.


For NBO some students receive extra training with their high school teachers, but there are several differences between public and private institutions that difficult estimate the amount of hours. Other students train by themselves reading textbooks like Campbell´s biology.

Study materials

There is no special or extra material, every teacher chooses his/her own favorite book or methodological strategy

Awards & prizes

Generally, medals, certificates and science books,


Type of students

Students from all around the country. Public, private, semiprivate and many other variants of secondary schools, like technical or agricultural ones

School year

The school year starts in February and ends in December

Biology hours/week

Biology is taught only in the last two years of high school. In public schools the number of hours received is 3, while in private institutions it may be higher

Hours of Classes/week

There is a standard schedule for all students in Costa Rica and they take about 40 hours of lessons per week

Public Relations


in January-February emails with all information (leaflet, brouchures) are sent to all the teachers. Sometimes the organizing committee in colaboration with the Ministry of Education visit all the schools to deliver the information directly to the teachers

Promotion contact

The organizing comitee in collaboration with the Ministry of Education

Statistics over the years
  • 2014: 1520 students from 1936 schools (0% of eligible schools)
  • 2013: 1373 students from 180 schools (0% of eligible schools)
  • 2012: 1570 students from 183 schools (0% of eligible schools)
  • 2011: 1406 students from 162 schools (0% of eligible schools)
  • 2010: 1107 students from 156 schools (0% of eligible schools)
  • 2009: 889 students from 142 schools (0% of eligible schools)
  • 2008: 547 students from 132 schools (0% of eligible schools)
  • 2007: 286 students from 30 schools (0% of eligible schools)
Media coverage

Sometimes national TV, but must of the time local newspaper


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