More than 80 outstanding Year 10 students from WA are preparing for the competition of their young lives to determine who will represent the State at the Australian Brain Bee Challenge.
The savvy scholars outsmarted more than 500 teenagers from 23 schools in a multiple-choice neuroscience quiz to make it through to the WA finals next Wednesday (June 25th) at The University of Western Australia.
But the hard work is only just beginning for the shortlisted students, who will travel from 17 schools around the State to compete. The meeting of minds includes a brain-teasing team challenge and neuroscience quiz to test their knowledge of the brain and how it works. They will also tour UWA's world-class facilities and meet with renowned scientific researchers.
"I am amazed at the level of neuroscience understanding shown by these young people," State Coordinator and UWA Associate Professor Jennifer Rodger said. "These Year 10 students have a depth of knowledge expected of university undergraduates in the UWA Neuroscience Major. I look forward to meeting this year's competitors and hosting the inevitably nail-bitingly close finals on the 25th of June."
Australian Brain Bee Challenge (ABBC) National Co-ordinator and neuroscientist Professor Linda Richard said the competition gave students a feel for what a career in neuroscience might be like.
"Neurological and mental illness account for a huge proportion of the disease burden in our community so we need to attract the best and brightest minds to take up a career in science," Professor Richard said.
Some 5550 students from 300 schools across Australia and New Zealand took part in the first round of this year's competition.
The student who tops the State finals will be offered a place in the Australian Brain Bee Challenge National Final, to be held in Perth next April at the Symposium of Western Australian Neuroscience Annual Conference. The national winner will compete at the international level later next year.
ABBC is supported by major sponsors, QBI and UQ, along with the Australian Neuroscience Society and the Neurotrauma Research Program in WA.
The Australian Brain Bee Challenge is the country's only neuroscience competition for high school students designed to test knowledge about a range of topics, including intelligence, memory, emotions, sleep, Alzheimer's disease and stroke.
Schools participating in the State Final at UWA on Wednesday 25 June 2014
- Belridge Secondary College (Beldon)
- Esperance Senior High School (Esperance)
- Geraldton Grammar School (Geraldton)
- Goldfields Baptist College (Kalgoorlie)
- John Paul College (Kalgoorlie)
- Lake Joondalup Baptist College (Joondalup)
- Murdoch College (Murdoch)
- Rehoboth Christian School (Kenwick)
- Rossmoyne Senior High School (Rossmoyne)
- Santa Maria College (Attadale)
- Shenton College (Shenton Park)
- St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls (inc) (Mosman Park)
- St Mark's Anglican Community School (Hillarys)
- St Mary's Anglican Girls' school (inc) (Karrinyup)
- St Mary's College (Broome)
- Woodvale Secondary College (Woodvale)
- St Brigid's College (Lesmurdie)
Associate Professor Jenny Rodger (State ABBC Coordinator) (+61 4) 11 844 103
Mikaeli Costello (QBI Media and Communications Manager) (+61 4) 01 580 685
David Stacey (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716