In the latest 2019 British Biology Olympiad, Huijia juniors Zimu Xia and Zijun Xia received Silver and Copper Awards respectively with their excellent scorings!
"The British Biology Olympiad (BBO) is an international high school biology contest hosted by Royal Society of Biology of U.K. From its founding year of 1995 to today, BBO has walked through its 21 years of history and is one of the longest standing and most highly influential high school science competitions in the U.K., hosting nearly ten thousand high school contestants from around the country. Every year the U.K. picks its members of the British Biology Olympic National Team from this competition to attend the International Biology Olympiad."
"About the Royal Society of Biology (RSB): its headquarter is located at the center of London; capacitating over 16,000 members globally, which comprise of famous scientists and researchers from the biology field of over 100 countries, the RSB is one of the most influential academic institutions for biology."
The 2019 BBO welcomed its 9464 contestants from 727 high schools all around the world. The contestants went beyond their pre-existing range of knowledge and vision, competing against excellent high-schoolers globally in the dimensions of intelligence, insights, language, and fast-pace learning abilities.
The language of contest was English, engaging all areas of the study of biology, including cellular biology, plant anatomy, physiology, genetics and evolution, as well as ecology and biosystematics, etc.
There were a substantial amount of knowledge involved in the competition, where most of them would only be acquired after students have completed the IBDP curriculum. Therefore, for high school juniors like Zimu and Zijun, this was a race of self-learning capabilities, going beyond their original cognition to the subject of biology.
During the interview, I had found that Zimu and Zixia are two very different girls in personalities. However, they share a characteristic, that is their avid passion for biology and their hope to become excellent doctors.
Zimu Xia: The World of Science Could be So Broad
The Girl in the red dress is Zimu Xia
In the eyes of many, Zimu is more like your standard “smart student”. – she scored 7 in all her IB subjects. Despite others’ first impression on her as being quiet and reserved, Zimu has in fact her own opinions. Right now, Zimu is the club leader of the Qichi Magazine Club. Since her leadership takeover, Zimu has lead its members break the norm of its previous communication means by producing series of Vlogs that have recorded many people and things happened around.
“To me, everyone at Huijia is a unique entity. We hope to more vividly tell the interesting stories that happened around these people and events through the form of Vlog and let more people to see the properties unique to our generation.”
Zimu said that she chose to film about her own life for her first Vlog. Because of filming, that day felt especially long for her, yet while she was editing the video, she first found that her campus life so intriguing.
When talking about why she’s so interested in Biology, Zimu claimed that she has enjoyed observing all kinds of animals starting little.
“I still remember that, when I was small, I could literally spend half an hour simply watching ants moving.”
Chicken, ducks, geese, small birds, cats, and dogs…… Zimu has raised all kinds of animal. Deeply in love with small animals, Zimu began forming her initial trigger of interest to the subject.
After starting the MYP curriculum, Zimu had her first contact with the Science class. There, Biology had, for the first time, gotten involved in her life and study, and it’s Huijia’s Biology that endowed her a broader vision.
In the MYP Science class, Biology is not a stand-alone subject but instead a form of science intertwined with Chemistry and Physics. The Science class is delivered in an interdisciplinary manner, revealing a more integrated world of science and possibilities of Biology to first-time learners of the subject.
“Since then, I have fallen in love with Biology, with it came Physics and Chemistry. To me, these few subjects are interconnected, and I realized then the science world could be so interesting and broad.”
In the IBDP period of high school, Zimu naturally selected the more advanced HL Biology and Chemistry courses and has always maintained excellent grades in these courses.
Zimu Xia in her Biology class
To many students’ surprise, Zimu is actually a Huijia lifer.
Starting from Grade One, Zimu has attended Huijia until her third year. She then got transferred to a public school closer to home because her thought Huijia is a little far for commute.
Zimu then spent three years at the public school, where she didn’t find herself truly fitting in for their culture of exam-prep education. At last, under the strong request of her daughter, Zimu’s mother sent her daughter back to Huijia.
“Back here again, I met many other peers of mine and teachers from before. Despite the school’s many changes, I still my unbounded feeling of joy to learn and develop in my areas of interest unchanged.”
Coming back to Huijia, Zimu has turned out an even more excellent student. She could be seen in many international competitions, including the U.S. Academic Decathlon, China Thinks Big (CTB) and so on…
Just last year, Zimu attended the China Thinks Bid competition, and as the team captain, she led her team to the North American final and received a personal Best Debater prize.
“Here at Huijia has a whole cluster of students like me who’s found themselves and their true passion, but we’re all different and unique in our own ways. You would find us each having our own highlights.”
Zijun Xia: Grateful for the scientific spirit IB has endowed us
Different from Zimu, Zijun joined Huijia in Grade Eight. Before her arrival, she had studied in Australia, and because of changes happened to her family plan, she moved back to China while in Grade Seven.
At first, she went to a public school for study. A semester later, she told her parents that she couldn’t stay there anymore.
“The tremendous stress from studying and repetitively working on homework questions day after day had made me unable to breathe. In a public school, many of my prior interests and hobbies were limited to development, and life had even become extremely dull.”
Later after her parents’consideration, Zijun Xia came to Huijia. According to herself, Huijia’s an entirely different world diversified by and unlimited to possibilities like her school back in Australia and even better in some parts.
“I’ve enjoyed sports. When I saw the great playing fields, grassroots, and the air-film gyms, I knew I could pick up my tennis racket and start playing freely once again.”
“Also, Huijia’s academics have implemented all types of wireless connection with electronic devices. Such these were never a reality at my old school in Australia.”
In Grade Nine, Zijun and her friends cofounded the Board Game Club, hoping to promote the western board game culture on the Chinese campus.
Other than this, she was also into philanthropy. After entering high school, Zijun joined the OG philanthropy organization at Hujia “The Red Cross Club” and participated in many charity and service events.
Zijun taking part in club-organized service initiatives (third on the right)
Biology is the same for Zijun, something she’s passionate about.
Starting from Zijun’s mom buying toys for her to act like she’s a doctor, Zijun has been fascinated by the profession of doctors.
“I didn’t hold a deeper understanding until later being the IB curriculum.”
Once during a lesson in the chapter about the respiratory system, students needed to use a small animal to perform an experiment that was to study the animal’s emission of Carbon Dioxide by putting it into a sealed vessel.
This seeming easy biological experiment not only requires students to complete the experimentation by itself but also reminds the experimenters to keep a heart of respect that shows humane care and esteem to the nature while conducting biology studies of any kind.
“We learned that, when performing an experiment like this, experimenters need to consider how to reduce the risk of harming the subjects of research to the lowest possible. Besides, after the experiment, we need to try our best to return them back to their original habitats. This ideology behind biology has touched us very much.”
It’s just because of this academic spirit laden with humanitarian care that has let every learner of the subject realize that humankind has to keep the bottomline of both ethics and morality while cognizing and applying the rules and patterns of this world.
“This point means a ton to me: if I want to become an excellent doctor, how can I not host the heart of care and compassion? I’m very grateful for IB for endowing us this spirit.”
To Zimu and Zijun, this competition would only be a tiny wave of their path in the sea of pursuing their life ideals. Now that they are back in their tight-knit schedule of life and studies, there will be more greatness and possibilities ahead worth expecting.
Congratulations and wishes again to these two girls who see biology as their love of life! We wish them full of dreams and able to carry on for them.