Inspiring future neuroscientists at the Centre for Brain Research
10 July 2019
Recently, the Centre for Brain Research hosted the North Island regional final of the NZ Brain Bee competition. It was a record year with 180 students selected to participate.
Recently, the Centre for Brain Research hosted the North Island regional final of the NZ Brain Bee competition. It was a record year with 180 students selected to participate. The students were selected from more than 500 students from across 40 North Island schools who took part in a first round online quiz looking at the brain, how it works and the recent developments in neurosurgery.
The competition is part of the International Brain Bee Challenge that aims to inspire a future generation of scientists to pursue treatment and cures for brain disorders. The challenge began in 1998 in America and has gone on to become a key event across the globe.
The students arrived bright and early ready to tackle the competition. Here for a full day, the students were immersed into the university way of life with lab tours and Meet-the-Scientist sessions where they were able learn more about neuroscience research and future study options. Associate Professor Deborah Young, who pulls it all together, is passionate about Brain Bee.
"Brain Bee is a great way to inspire and engage with students directly in an interactive and fun way. Spending the day at the Faculty of Medical and Health Science is not something many of them will have ever had the opportunity to do before, and is a chance to showcase brain research and the exciting opportunities available to them after they finish high school. It’s a team effort with many volunteers to pull it together, but it’s always a lot of fun."
Brain Bee is a great way to inspire and engage with students directly in an interactive and fun way... It’s a team effort with many volunteers to pull it together, but it’s always a lot of fun.
Previous winners and participants have been so inspired by their Brain Bee experience, they’ve gone on to carve out careers in neuroscience and further encourage others by establishing the International Youth Neuroscience Association here in New Zealand.
The winners this year
ACG Parnell’s Xiaojian Guo was the awarded the title of North Island Regional Winner. They will now go on to compete against the South Island champion for the title of NZ Brain Bee champion at the Australasian Neuroscience Society meeting which will be held in December this year. The NZ winner will go onto compete in the International Brain Bee competition in Washington D.C next year.
In addition to the individual competition, we created a team competition where schools can compete for the title. This year, the Brain Bee - Top Team title was taken out by St Cuthberts College.
Brain Bee is an annual event hosted by the Centre for Brain Research sponsored by the Freemasons Foundation, the Catwalk Trust and Brain Research New Zealand, with support from Sony, Mindfood and Auckland University Press.