Neuroscience has never been more relevant to pushing the boundaries of humanity’s potential. By studying the mechanisms of the mind, the roots of behavior, the causes of disease, and the capacity to grow and change throughout one’s life, neuroscience opens a window into what makes us human.
Alongside its own merits, the field also serves as a launchpad for public interest in science. With brains of our own, we’re all naturally fascinated by the gift of thought, perception, and experience. In an age when neural networks are being applied to advance technology and brain-computer interfaces are being introduced to market, the study of neuroscience takes center stage. It is the mission of the International Brain Bee to expand that stage to every classroom of the world and, ultimately, fuel the next generation of top scientists and doctors.
Currently, 53 nations are engaged in coordinating Brain Bee programs, and the number progressively increases. About 50,000 students participate across all six continents every year, and more than 600 neuroscientists have been involved with organizing and judging the events. An Alumni Club has been established to sustain the inspired and global community of young scientists into their university and career tracts.
The Brain Bee competition platform is organized on three levels: local, national, and international. Local scientific institutions are licensed by the International Brain Bee (IBB) to carry out city-wide or regional events, engaging students from 14-18 years of age. The first-place prize winners are granted the opportunity to compete at the national level. The National Champions are, in turn, invited to represent their country at the annual international competition, which is hosted by different neuroscience organizations during an international conference.
The format of the competitions vary between events, but the most common program includes a live judging panel of neuroscientists, posing questions about neuroscience directly to the students, in a style much like a Spelling Bee. Hence, the name “Brain Bee”. Additional competition components include a neuroanatomy practical, neurohistology identification and characterization, patient diagnosis based on interactive medical examinations and video footage, and written exams.
Partnerships with and support from universities, organizations, foundations, and companies make the Brain Bee possible. All coordination is done on a volunteer basis by leaders among scientific communities.
The International Brain Bee was founded in 1999 and is the world-wide neuroscience
competition for high school students. Directed by founder Dr. Norbert Myslinski, the Brain Bee motivates students to learn about the brain, captures their imaginations, and inspires them to pursue neuroscience careers in order to help treat and find cures for neurological and psychological disorders.
Past International Champions
1999: David Alpay: Earl Haig High School, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
2000: Otilia Husu: Mountain Ridge High School, Glendale, Arizona, UNITED STATES
2001: Arjun Bharioke: Churchill Junior High, New Providence, New Jersey, UNITED STATES
2002: Marvin Chum: Earl Haig High School, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
2003: Saroj Kunnakkat: Lynbrook High School, New York City, New York, UNITED STATES
2004: Bhaktapriya Nagalla: Farmington High School in Connecticut, UNITED STATES
2005: John Liu: Michigan High School, Berea, Ohio, UNITED STATES
2006: Jong Park, UT High School, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
2007: Melody Hu, Wayzata High School, Minneapolis, MN, UNITED STATES
2008: Elena Perry, Richard Montgomary High School, Bethesda, MD UNITED STATES
2009: Julia Chartove, Richard Montgomary High School, Bethesda, MD UNITED STATES
2010: Ritika Chohani, Prabhavati Padamshi Soni International college, Mumbai, INDIA
2011: Thanh-Liem Huynh-Tran, Cate School, Carpinteria, California, UNITED STATES
2012: Teresa Tang, Brisbane State High School, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
2013: Jackson Huang, Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
2014: Gayathri Muthukumar, National Public School, Bangalore, INDIA
2015: Jade Pham, James Ruse Agricultural High School, Carlingford, AUSTRALIA
2016: Mihai Viteazul, National College Bucharest, ROMANIA