STEB: About the competition

Have you ever wondered why we are so different from chimpanzees, despite having 97% of DNA the same? And how about the kinship between humans and apes?  Or are you fascinated by viruses, or the causes of other diseases and their heredity? 

If yes, you are at the right place! 

Welcome to our correspondence seminar and competition called Selected Topics in Evolutionary Biology (STEB)! 

In this correspondence seminar, we will try to answer these and similar questions using the insights of evolutionary biology. We hope that you will not only find the evolutionary perspective interesting, but that it will also provide you with the knowledge you need in biology classes in a simple way, so that you can understand not only "how" but also "why" some things happen the way they do in nature. 

 The application form for the seventh edition of the competition (2023/2024) will be here soon!

You will find the assignments in the appropriate category, depending on whether you are a beginner, an advanced student (participated in STEB once already) or an expert (you participated in STEB twice or more times).

What is STEB?

STEB is a correspondence seminar - a problem-solving competition in biology for high school students like you. It consists of five rounds in each school year. Each round's assignment includes a short and (we hope) interesting article, a few questions to answer, and a small project to work on at home.

By completing these assignments, you enter a competition in which you can win exciting prizes as well as an invitation to short summer camp, where you can meet other students and young scientists who are interested in evolution. 

Why should I participate?

If you want to better understand the living world around us, you can learn a lot about it from the perspective of evolutionary biology. As you read the articles, you will find that the living creatures around (and including!) you have a much more interesting story to tell than you might have imagined. By taking part in the competition, you'll be able to practise your problem-solving skills, which will be extremely useful later on at university. You will also practice your ability to articulate your thoughts and opinions clearly. 

The most successful students will win prizes and be invited to a short summer camp.

How can I get involved?

It's simple. Sign up HERE and we'll email you further instructions. You can then read the articles at home, answer the questions and work on your little project. You submit your solutions and answers to us via google classroom or email, we'll correct them and send them back with the next series. 

Please see the rules here for details. 

You are competing in this category if this is the first time you are entering the STEB competition. The individual series can be found here.

You are competing in this category if you have already participated in STEB during the previous school year.

Apart from that, if you are in the last year of high school, but enter STEB for the first time, you may also compete in this category. The individual series can be found here.

You are competing in this category if you have already succesfully completed STEB for at least two years  before.  The individual series will be sent to you after an initial consultation.