Student Places Fifth at International Biology Olympiad
William Long, TJ ’15, and three teammates represented the United States at the 2014 International Biology Olympiad in Bali, Indonesia. As pleased as he was with his amazing individual fifth place finish (see Washington Post article for competition details), Will was thrilled just to be able to take part: “The international competition in Bali was a really incredible experience. I was able to talk to 240 other kids from 60 other countries and make friends from around the world. I also had the chance to tour Bali, go on a safari, relax on the beach, and visit an old Balinese temple.”
The United States of America Biology Olympiad (USABO) is the country’s premier biology competition for high school students. TJ has had at least twenty USABO semifinalists for over a decade and at least one finalist for the last five years. According to Will, who plans to study Computer Science as well as Biology in college, it’s no coincidence that TJ is the only school that in recent years has consistently sent students to the national finals: “We have lots of really smart kids who want to help each other and teach each other. There are lots of kids who are interested in biology and just want to learn more. I think that this whole culture at TJ is one of the things that propels so many kids to do so well in the competition.”
In fact, Will hopes to be able to help other TJ students make the finals next year. Maybe a TJ student will even get to attend the 2015 international competition. There probably won’t be any monkeys in that student’s pictures, however, as next year’s competition will be in Denmark.