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About the International Biology Olympiad


The first International Olympiad was held in Eastern Europe in 1959 in Mathematics. The remaining disciplines quickly followed; Physics (1967), Chemistry (1968) and Informatics in (1989). Biology had its first Olympiad in 1990.

Some of the characteristics of the science Olympiads as compared with those for sports are that they are held annually and intended for secondary school students. The level of questions is above the standard for secondary school education in the world. The theoretical/practical questions are 5 hours long each which demands persistence and determination, as well as discipline. Gold medals are awarded not only to the top achiever but to the top 10% of participants. The Olympiad offers an opportunity for international exchange.

In Japan, the "International Biology Olympiad Japan Committee (JBO)" was established in 2004 by researchers, and teachers of universities, and high school. We sent students to China (Beijing) in 2005, Argentina (Rio Cuarto) in 2006, and Canada (Saskatoon) in 2007.


The first international biology contest held between Czechoslovakia and Poland during 1985 to 1989 became the foundation of the official IBO.

From the experiences gained from other International Olympiads in other sciences and mathematics, the idea to start the International Biology Olympiad was born. As a result, UNESCO petitioned to Czechoslovakia to start the IBO.

Six countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, Poland, and fortune Soviet Union established the IBO in 1989, and the first IBO was held in Omolouc, Czechoslovakia. Although there were problems, the Olympiad got a big success, and its continuation was decided. Later, the number of participating countries increased rapidly.

After the first IBO, the Coordinate Center was established in Prague. The advisory board meeting by coordinators from each country has been held every winter in the Center and they discuss evaluations and improvements for the Olympiads, rules for the next Olympiad, contents, etc.