More than 90 of WA’s brightest Year 10 students have competed in the WA Brain Bee championships at The University of Western Australia, with one student and one team to go on to compete in the national finals.
The Australian Brain Bee Challenge (ABBC) is the country’s only neuroscience competition for high school students. It is designed to test students’ knowledge of neuroscience and associated conditions/diseases of the brain as well as engage with students who may be interested in pursuing neuroscience as a career.
Students from 18 schools participated in the State finals, selected from a starting field of more than 400 teenagers.
Fifteen-year-old Erwin Bauernschmitt from Woodvale Secondary College was announced the individual winner of the state competition with St. Norbert College the winning school.
Mr Bauernschmitt said the Brain Bee was a great experience.
“It was a really intense competition with some tough questions. I was really nervous, but I’m pleased to have made it through to the national finals,” Mr Bauernschmitt said.
“The anatomy of the brain is fascinating. How an organ so small can be so complex and have one of the most important functions in the body is really interesting.
‘I was originally set on becoming an engineer but I think neuroscience is a pretty interesting career option too.”
Brain Bee State Coordinator and UWA Senior Research Fellow Dr Jennifer Rodger said the Year 10 students demonstrated a great depth of knowledge and keen interest in neuroscience.
“It was wonderful to see so many students interested in such an important subject,” Dr Rodger said.
“Hundreds of millions of people world-wide are affected by neurological conditions and many of us know at least one person affected by conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, migraines, epilepsy, autism or Multiple Sclerosis.
“With neurological disorders and mental illness so prevalent, it’s good to see so many young people considering choosing this as a career path and keen to make a difference.”
The national finals will be held in Sydney in December. ABBC is supported by major sponsors, University of Western Sydney, the Australian Neuroscience Society, UWA and the Neurotrauma Research Program in WA.
Schools who took part in the WA Brain Bee Challenge
- Carmel School, WA
- Emmanuel Catholic College
- Esperance Senior High School
- Guildford Grammar School
- Lake Joondalup Baptist College
- Mandurah Catholic College
- Margaret River Senior High School
- Methodist Ladies' College, WA
- Mount Lawley Senior High School
- Sacred Heart College, WA
- Santa Maria College, WA
- Scotch 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, WA
- Woodvale Secondary College