Members of the UB Neuroscience Graduate Student Association and the Buffalo Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience helped organize the local Brain Bee competition for the fourth consecutive year. The Brain Bee is a competition for high school students in which the students are tested on their knowledge about the brain. The event is led by Dr. Elizabeth Hogan, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology at Canisius College, with the help of several Neuroscience graduate students.
Prior to the Brain Bee competition, students including Sarah Hayes, Tom Covey, Erikson Neilans, Claire Modica, and Nina Kashanian conducted a review class for the competitors of the Brain Bee based on the material from the Brain Facts handbook. Brain Facts is a free access primer published by the Society for Neuroscience covering information about the brain and nervous system and serves as the basis for the material in which the Brain Bee students are tested on. The UB graduate students prepared presentations for each chapter in the Brain Facts book discussing a wide range of neuroscience topics including development of the nervous system, the neural basis of learning and memory, neurodegenerative diseases, and research techniques used to study the nervous system.
The Brain Bee competition was held on February 23rd, 2013 at Canisius College’s new Science Hall. Three UB graduate students, Lara Duffney, John Fleites, and Mateen Haroon assisted in the event as judges of the competition. During the competition, students answered multiple choice and short answer questions about the brain and nervous system and were also required to identify different parts of the brain. Melissa Li from Williamsville East High School was the winner of this year’s Western New York Brain Bee and went on to compete in the National Brain Bee.
The continued efforts of Dr. Hogan and the UB Neuroscience graduate students has led to another successful Brain Bee, helping to continue to motivate high school students to learn about the brain and pursue careers in neuroscience.