A Santa Monica student has been selected to participate in the national Biology Olympiad Finals with the chance to win a spot to represent the United States at the international finals in July.

Santa Monica High School student Jackie Osaki is one of 20 students to make it to the national competition from a pool of 10,500 students registered nationally for the Annual USA Biology Olympiad (USABO).

Finalists were selected based on their scores from the USABO Open and Semifinal Exams. They will gather at Purdue to compete for U.S. medals. The top four medalists will participate July 6-13 at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) in Bali, Indonesia. The IBO is a worldwide competition involving students from 63 countries.

During the two weeks at Purdue, the finalists will participate in intensive theoretical and practical tutorials. The high school students will study with leading U.S. biologists who are experts in the fields of cellular and molecular biology, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, genetics and evolution, ecology, and biosystematics.

At the conclusion of the two weeks, the students take two exams — a practical and a theoretical. The four highest scoring students will be named Team USA 2014 and will represent the nation at the IBO.

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