Love for bi­ol­ogy takes teen to Olympiad event

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Science runs through the veins of Ery Zhu.

The 17-year-old is one of the top young bi­ol­o­gists in the coun­try and is go­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Bi­ol­ogy Olympiad (IBO) held in Aarhus, Den­mark, this July.

The com­pe­ti­tion is for sec­ondary school stu­dents around the world who are win­ners of their re­spec­tive Na­tional Bi­ol­ogy Olympiad.

It chal­lenges them to tackle a range of bi­o­log­i­cal prob­lems and ex­per­i­ments on sub­ject mat­ter in­clud­ing plants, an­i­mals and evo­lu­tion. Zhu en­tered into a rig­or­ous se­lec­tion process, sit­ting three ex­ams, study­ing over her sum­mer hol­i­day and par­tic­i­pat­ing in an eight-day train­ing camp dur­ing the April school hol­i­days, held by univer­si­ties across the coun­try. From an ini­tial 400 peo­ple who sat the first exam, she was cho­sen as one of the four New Zealand rep­re­sen­ta­tives to head to Den­mark.

This feat is not lost on the en­thu­si­as­tic Avon­dale Col­lege stu­dent.

‘‘This is go­ing to be a re­ally good op­por­tu­nity to meet new peo­ple and ex­tend my­self,’’ she says.

‘‘I love how much I can re­late to bi­ol­ogy, I can see what I’m learn­ing hap­pen­ing around me in my life.’’

The trip is self-funded and Zhu is spend­ing her free time tu­tor­ing and find­ing a part-time job to help with costs.

She is hop­ing to raise $5000 be­fore July.

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