Mauritius Institute of Education Quiz Competition: ‘Biology for Fun’

The ‘Biology for Fun’ quiz competition 2020 was an interinstitutional initiative by the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE), the Society of Biology (SoB) and Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre (RGSC). It was held on the 1st December 2020 during the RGSC National Science Week. In response to the constant decline in the number of students opting for biology which is beyond the compulsory level for Grade 9, the quiz competition, organised by Dr S. Atchia of MIE and Mrs D. Domah of SoB aimed to spark the interest of students and promote biology as a worthwhile subject at secondary level. 73 respondents representing 32 different secondary schools around the island submitted their participation forms. The event was a two-round quiz competition with a preliminary round for the selection of 20 finalists and a final round to identify the winners, followed by the prize giving ceremony. The questions which focused on the theme “biology for fun” were explained by the quiz masters to bring a didactic element to the competition. Moreover, to increase the element of interaction, clickers (a technological response system) was used to pose questions and give participants the opportunity to answer electronically. The prize giving ceremony ended by awarding cash prizes of Rs5000, Rs3000 and Rs2000 respectively to the winner from ‘Doha Academy’, 2nd runner-up from ‘Modern college’ and 1st runner-up from the ‘Islamic Institute of Secular Studies’. A certificate of participation was also given to all the participants. During the feedback session, the participants and accompanying parents highlighted that the event was well organised and had undeniably sparked the participants’ interest towards biology. A private school owner shared that he had the firm intention of replicating the quiz competition including its didactic approach in his institution.