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A record 32,500 school students have taken part in the Society of Biology’s 2014 Biology Challenge competition, collectively answering over four million questions. The competition, now in its sixth year, is open to all school students aged 14-15. The number of participants beats the previous record from last year when 31,000 students participated.

Rachel Lambert-Forsyth CBiol CSci MSB, director of education and training, says: “It is encouraging to see an increasing number of students being given the opportunity to take part in Biology Challenge. Hitting a new record for entries reflects well on the increasing importance of studying biology at school.”

Biology Challenge is an online competition which takes place in schools; it aims to involve as many students as possible. It encourages them to take an interest in wide-ranging biology and natural history topics beyond the school curriculum. This helps science teachers celebrate their students’ learning, and many use it to highlight the good work going on in their science department.

The Challenge consists of two thirty minute papers taken online in school. Schools conduct the competition in whatever way best suits their students. As well as being able to submit their students' scores to the national competition, schools are encouraged to award their own prizes and to make use of certificates provided for them.

Rachel continues: “Biology is integral to tackling many of our 21st century challenges and it is important to inspire and encourage future generations of bioscience researchers to support this. Biology Challenge also encourages students to take an interest in issues that will affect them such as health, exercise, disease and sustainability and this is an important aspect of the competition and helps support the Society’s vision of a world that understands the true value of biology and how it can contribute to improving life for all.”