Bar-Ilan University

02/21/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/21/2019 03:10

Ashdod Teen Wins National Biology Competition Hosted by the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences

Ashdod Teen Wins National Biology Competition Hosted by the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences

Date: 2019-02-21 Hour: 10:33

Sixteen-year-old Shai Nehemia, of Makif Gimel High School in Ashdod, is the winner of the 22nd annual national Biology Olympics held at Bar-Ilan University. Nehemia was recognized for her winning project 'The effect of phosphates on 'chlorella' algae growth.

In her advanced project, Nehemia studied the influence of a non-organic compound, phosphate, on the growth and development of chlorella. Chlorella is an algae that has drawn much interest over the past few years as it has a very high photosynthetic efficiency, and it may, in theory, serve as a potential source of energy and food.

The Biology Olympics were sponsored by the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences at Bar-Ilan, under the initiative of the Ministry of Education's Department of Biology and support of the Ministry's Science and Technology Administration. At the conclusion of the competition Bar-Ilan University awarded Nehemia a full one-year scholarship to the faculty of her choice.

Karina Afekishev from Mevo'ot HaNegev School earned second place and Noam Manor from HaKfar Hayarok took third place.

This year, twelfth-graders from around the country and from all sectors of the population who are studying five units of biology towards their matriculation exams entered the competition. Those who reached the finals were assessed by a team of senior evaluators and partook in personal conversations in their districts. As in previous years the organizing committee from the Ministry of Education planned the enrichment activities and lectures, and produced the concluding event.

Some 300 students and teachers from around the country were hosted by Bar-Ilan's Goodman Faculty for the competition finals, which included lectures on topics at the forefront of science. Seven contenders who earned the highest scores in the early stages of the contest rose to the finals. They presented their research to a panel of judges and the packed auditorium of visiting students, teachers, parents and guests. The judging committee was comprised of Bar-Ilan science faculty members and senior biology teachers.

During the first round of the competition, more than 3,100 students took a national exam which tested their knowledge and understanding of various subjects in biology, critical thinking ability, and research skills. The exam was conducted online in Hebrew and Arabic. One hundred contenders rose to the second stage of the competition in which they conducted scientific experiments. During the third, semifinal round, they took oral exams testing their ability to discuss their experiments. Posters they prepared depicting their research were displayed at the final competition.