27 June 2019

Brain Bee State Challenge

Over 80 brainy Year 10 students from 20 schools across the State competed against each other in the country’s only neuroscience competition for high school students.

The state competition of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge was held recently at The University of Western Australia with the support from UWA and the Perron Institute.

The competition included brain-teasing quizzes to challenge students’ knowledge of the brain, its function and associated conditions and diseases as well as engaging with students who may be interested in pursuing neuroscience as a career.

During the competition students were able to tour UWA and meet some of the University’s scientific mentors and researchers, including Professor Charles Watson (pictured right) and State Coordinator of the Brain Bee Challenge Associate Professor Jenny Rodger. MSWA Research Fellow, A/Professor Rodger, has led the event for 12 years and is Head of Brain Plasticity Research at the Perron Institute and UWA.

The students were further introduced to the 2012 WA winner Abbey Ford who provided a welcome speech for the students. Ms Ford said “through the Brain Bee I got my first taste of Neuroscience and I found it fascinating how much of what we do and who we are comes down to the organ in our heads and the nerves in our bodies.” Ms Ford is now undertaking Honours research on Parkinson’s disease at the Perron Institute via UWA and is enjoying unravelling the brain.

Round 1 of the Brain Bee event was held online in which 571 students across 23 schools competed against each other in order to advance to round 2. Round 2 was held at UWA, where 81 students competed against each other and the winner was announced at the end of the session.

Beau Scaddan from Perth Modern School (pictured top right and bottom middle) was announced as the State champion followed by runner ups Kota Sato and Akshay Sundru, both from Kelmscott Senior High School. Perth Modern School was announced the winning WA school with St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls and Shenton College coming in second and third.

Mr Scaddan will compete against winners from the other Australian states and territories at the national final to be held in Adelaide in December.

Sophie Brooks who was an individual finalist and part of the St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls team was happy to speak about her experience. She said the Brain Bee was “an amazing opportunity to meet other people, I have learnt a lot of new things even though I went into today completely unprepared.”

Image credit: UWA Faculty of Science

Image credit: UWA Faculty of Science