Skip to main content

UOIT's Faculty of Science helps students reach international podium

High school students win silver, bronze at biology competition

Thanks in part to training received at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) this summer, four senior high school students from across Canada recently received international recognition for their science knowledge, winning silver and bronze medals at the 20th International Biology Olympiad (IBO) held in Tsukuba, Japan from July 12 to 19.

The team, made up of Steven Zhu (Vancouver, British Columbia); Geoffrey Osgood (Calgary, Alberta); Aaron Hakim (Oakville, Ontario); and Clinton Wang (Toronto, Ontario) represented Canada at the week-long event, competing against 221 students from 56 different countries.

In preparation for the competition, the students were part of a unique training camp from July 6 to 10, held for the second consecutive year at UOIT and conducted by members of the Faculty of Science. In an effort to develop and improve their biology skills, this year's camp also hosted 13 grade 10 and 11 students participating alongside the national team.

This year, students took part in five intensive days of lab sessions, focusing on tasks in animal physiology, plant anatomy/physiology, biochemistry, genetics and cell physiology. In total, each student completed approximately 10 different labs during the camp.

Faculty members Sylvie Bardin and Chris Garside, biology senior lab instructors, led the camp with the assistance of Anita Nutikka and Girija Dhekney, biology lab technicians and Lindsey Hill, teaching assistant and liaison to the Canadian Biology Olympiad. They were joined by Susan Chow, demonstrator and technician from Trent University.

During the IBO, each member of the Canadian team was required to complete four practical exams and two theoretical exams. Scores from all six exams were combined to determine their overall ranking. Clinton received a silver medal for finishing in the top 20 per cent of all students, while Zhu, Osgood and Hakim were each awarded bronze medals for ranking in the top 30 per cent of all students.

"I would like to congratulate the team for their impressive results at the International Biology Olympiad and at the same time, thank those members of our faculty who contributed to their success," said William Smith, dean of UOIT's Faculty of Science. "Our faculty and staff gladly volunteered to cultivate and execute this training camp initiative that is essential to the success of these students at the IBO. The faculty's involvement with promoting the importance of science and assisting young scientists through this camp is yet another example of the leading-edge learning experience provided by UOIT, in an effort to develop our leaders of the future as they turn innovative ideas into real solutions."

UOIT's Faculty of Science is committed to excellence and innovation in technology-enhanced and interdisciplinary teaching as well as research relevant to the needs of society and the environment. Dedicated to creating and sharing scientific knowledge, infusing the thrill of discovery and inspiring vision, determination, independence, critical thinking and integrity in its students, it prepares them for rewarding careers as the next generation of highly skilled scientists and professionals.

About Ontario Tech University
A modern, forwarding-thinking university, Ontario Tech advances the discovery and application of knowledge to accelerate economic growth, regional development and social innovation. We inspire and equip our students and our graduates to make a positive impact in a tech-focused world. For us, it’s not only about developing the next tech breakthrough. Understanding and integrating the social and ethical implications of technology differentiates us as university. Learn more at