Cypress Falls High School junior Karen Li has been selected for one of 20 finalist positions for the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) competition.
As the premier biology competition for high school students in the United States, the USABO enriches the life sciences education of nearly 10,000 talented students annually. USABO provides the motivation, curricular resources and skills training to take them beyond their classroom experience to the level of international competitiveness.
Li advanced to the semifinal round of USABO competition in March. Following two rounds of challenging exams, the 20 finalists have been invited to a residential training program June 2-14, in which they learn advanced biological concepts and lab skills at Purdue University.
Four students will ultimately earn the right to represent the USA at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) July 14-21 in Bern, Switzerland, a worldwide competition involving student teams from approximately 60 countries. Since the Center for Excellence in Education began administering the USABO, every member of Team USA has medaled at the IBO.
Cypress Falls teacher Debbie Waddell said Li approached her in the fall about getting the school involved in USABO.
“I did not know anything about the program, but Karen told me this would help get students ready for UIL competition and would be a great opportunity to compete against other high school kids across the nation,” Waddell said. “She promoted the program, recruited kids and organized study sessions. Her work definitely paid off—she was the top biology and chemistry student at the district UIL contest and will now get the chance to learn more this summer.”