20 high school students to participate in USA Biology Olympiad National Finals at Purdue

May 21, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Twenty top high school students have been selected as finalists to attend the USA Biology Olympiad National Finals, sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education, from June 6-18 at Purdue University

The finalists, representing 12 states, were selected based on their high scores from the USABO Open and Semifinal exams. Nearly 11,000 students nationally registered for the Open Exam. 

"The USA Biology Olympiad national finalists are among the highest achieving biology high school students in the nation," said Joann P. DiGennaro, president of the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE). "The Center is proud to collaborate with Purdue University to train high academic achievers in practical and theoretical biology to propel them to science careers."

The USABO national finalists will gather at Purdue to compete for U.S. medals and one of the four places on Team USA, which will participate in the International Biology Olympiad in Changwon, Korea in July. Korean Air, the official airline of the 2010 USABO, will provide tickets for the U.S. team to attend the international event.. 

Purdue animal sciences professor Scott Mills and Kathy Frame, director of USA Biology Olympiad & Special Projects for the Center for Excellence in Education, are coordinating the two weeks' worth of activities on the Purdue campus.

"Purdue is honored to serve as host of this prestigious event, which serves as a launching pad for the next generation of U.S. scientists who will lead efforts in addressing our world's grandest of challenges," Mills said.

Added Frame: "These exceptionally talented young students will be afforded the extraordinary opportunity to work alongside some of the brightest minds in biology and will be exposed to cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art learning laboratories at Purdue University."

The U.S. national finals consist of two weeks of intensive theoretical and practical tutorials, whereby the students will have the opportunity to study with leading U.S. biologists who are experts in the fields of cellular biology, microbiology, biotechnology, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, ethology, genetics and evolution, ecology, and biosystematics.

At the conclusion of the two weeks, the students take two exams — a practical and theoretical. The four highest scoring students will be named "Team USA 2010" and will represent the United States at the International Biology Olympiad. All four members of Team USA earned gold medals at the 2007, 2008, and 2009 International Biology Olympiads.

While on the Purdue campus, the biology scholars will be taught and mentored by professors from Purdue, Harvard and Princeton universities, Bridgewater State College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Candiss Vibbert, Purdue associate vice provost for engagement at Discovery Park and co-host of the event. The students also will tour research laboratories in Discovery Park and elsewhere on campus.

The 20 national finalists are:

California: Charles Adelmann, Harvard-Westlake, North Hollywood; Zachary J. Gold, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica; Russell Islam, Mira Loma High School, Sacramento; Gun Ho Lee, Cupertino High School, Cupertino; Christina Tsai, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica; and Chelsea Voss, Cupertino High School, Cupertino

Connecticut: Anthony C. Bishop, Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury. 

Florida: Son N. Le, Edgewater High School, Orlando. 

Hawaii: Eric J. Liaw, Punahou School, Honolulu.

Indiana: Hong Yang Sun, Carmel High School, Carmel.

Illinois: Charles H. Du, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Chicago. 

Massachusetts: Fred Yu, Westford Academy, Westford

Michigan: Debra S. Van Egeren, Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills

New York: Brendan Huang, Stuyvesant High School, New York City; David Huang, Stuyvesant High School, New York City; Joseph Park, Stuyvesant High School, New York City; and Andrew Tian-Yang Yu, Pittsford Sutherland High School, Pittsford.

North Carolina: Niel I. Lebeck, East Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill.

Texas: Shulin Ye, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, Denton.

Virginia: Yuqing Zhang, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria. 

About the Center for Excellence in Education 

The Center for Excellence in Education was founded in 1983 by the late Admiral H.G. Rickover and Joann P. DiGennaro, president of the center. The center's mission is to nurture young scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to encourage collaborations between and among leaders in the global community. CEE sponsors the Research Science Institute (RSI) and the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO). 

Media Contacts: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

                               Maureen Palmer, 703-448-9062 ext. 222, mpalmer@cee.org

                               Gillian Goldmark, 703-448-9062 ext. 230, ggoldmark@cee.org 

Sources:  Joann P. DiGennaro, 703-448-9062, joann@cee.org

                   Scott Mills, 765-494-4845, smills@purdue.edu

                   Kathy Frame, 703-448-9062, kframe@cee.org

                   Candiss Vibbert, 765-494-9404, vibbert@purdue.edu

Related web site:
Purdue College of Science