Western Australia’s brainiest Year 10 students are preparing for the competition of their young lives to determine who will represent the State at the Australian Brain Bee National Challenge.
The 83 savvy scholars outsmarted more than 300 teenagers from 16 schools in a multiple-choice neuroscience quiz to make it through to the WA finals to be held next Monday 27 June at The University of Western Australia.
But the hard work is only just beginning for the shortlisted students, who will travel from 15 schools around the State, from the Kimberley to the Great Southern. 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 neuroscience facilities and meet some of UWA’s leading scientific researchers.
Brain Bee State Coordinator and UWA Senior Research Fellow Dr Jennifer Rodger said the Year 10 students had shown a depth of knowledge expected of university undergraduates in the UWA Neuroscience Major.
“I am amazed at the extraordinary level of neuroscience understanding shown by these young people,” Dr Rodger said.
Australian Brain Bee Challenge (ABBC) National Co-ordinator and neuroscientist Professor Vaughan Macefield 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 neuroscience,” Professor Macefield said.
More than 5000 students from 300 schools across Australia and New Zealand took part in the first round of this year’s competition.
The student who wins the State finals will be offered a place in the Australian Brain Bee Challenge National Final, to be held in Hobart in December. The national winner will compete at the International Brain Bee later next year.
ABBC is supported by major sponsors, University of Western Sydney, the Australian Neuroscience Society, UWA 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 Monday 27 June:
• Austin Cove Baptist College, South Yunderup
• Butler College
• Esperance Senior High School
• Georgiana Molloy Anglican School, Busselton
• Geraldton Grammar School|
• Goldfields Baptist College, Kalgoorlie
• Mount Lawley Senior High School
• Perth Modern School
• Santa Maria College, WA
• Shenton College
• St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls
• St Mary's Anglican Girls' School
• St Mary's College, Broome
• St Norbert College, Queens Park
• Willetton Senior High School
Dr Jenny Rodger (State Coordinator /NHMRC Senior Research Fellow) (+61 4) 11 844 103
David Stacey (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716