Mark Wilson July 11th, 2013
MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL–Today I had the pleasure of talking with four excellent Israeli students who form their nation’s team in the upcoming 7th International Earth Science Olympiad. Their advisor and coach, Hanan Ginat (on the far right), invited me to speak to these young adults about paleontology as they study for the competition to be held in India this September. I was amazed at how hard these students are working for this event, and how much will be required of them during the Olympiad. They will have ten days of tests and practical exercises. In past events these contests have included interpreting core samples, assessing building stones, and even planning dam sites. In the written tests there are questions not only about geology and paleontology, but also oceanography, atmospheric sciences, and astronomy. Wow. Most of it in English, too.
The students had excellent questions and quickly responded to puzzles about various fossil specimens you can see scattered on the table above. It was so much fun — the time just flew by. Good luck to them in the tournament and in their future endeavors. These are very bright students who know the value of learning and persistence.