Ben Norris’ Olympiad Successes While many of our pupils are looking forward to a taking a little rest over the Easter Holidays, Ben Norris (U6W) has a busy programme of work ahead of him. Having performed remarkably well in the first rounds of both the British Biology and Chemistry Olympiads, Ben is facing further testing in both sciences as he hopes to be selected for the UK teams. A record number of 7500 students sat the first round multiple choice paper of the British Biology Olympiad in January. As one of the 144 top Gold medal winners, Ben was invited to take part in the second round (a ninety minute written paper) in March. Following this, just sixteen students have been invited to Warwick University for the national finals later this month. They will take part in practical assessments and a written paper. Four of the sixteen will be selected to represent the UK at the International Biology Olympiad in Warwick, in July. Dr Andrew Treharne MBE FRSB, who chairs the group of volunteers which organises the competition, wrote, “The standard of this year’s competitors was as high as ever and I look forward to meeting this year’s finalists in Warwick. Many congratulations to them for getting to this stage, top 16 out of 7,500 is an incredible achievement. The UK is hosting the International Biology Olympiad for the first time this year, making this a more exciting prospect than ever before for our national team.” Ben is an exceptional young man. I have never in my teaching career to date got a student this far in the BBO so I am absolutely delighted for him. Mrs Fiona Graham, Head of Biology at Bancroft’s Royal Society of Biologists Website Ben also performed incredibly well in the Royal Society of Chemistry Olympiad Round 1 earlier this year. Together with Sujil James and Sayon Uthayakumar, he was awarded a Gold Medal. His notably impressive performance placed him amongst the top thirty young chemists in the country. Ben is taking part in the next selection round at Cambridge this Easter, which will select the team for the international competition this summer and assess both practical skills and theoretical knowledge. In addition, Ben shared the news with us that he has just been awarded a place by the Weizmann Institute of Science on a month-long research project in Israel during the summer. Ten students from the UK will be joining an international group at the Weizmann Institute, one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary basic research institutions in the natural and exact sciences.