11 June 2018

Western Australia’s best young brains battle it out

More than 90 Year 10 students from over 20 schools around WA competed in the Australian Brain Bee National Challenge at The University of Western Australia (UWA) on Friday 8 June.

Nathan Mayhew from Mount Lawley Senior High School became this year’s state champion and Woodthorpe School was announced the winning WA school.

The Australian Brain Bee Challenge is the country’s only neuroscience competition for high school students. It is designed to test students’ knowledge of neuroscience and associated conditions of the brain as well as engage with students who may be interested in pursuing neuroscience as a career.

The competition included a brain-teasing team challenge and neuroscience quiz to test their knowledge of the brain and how it works. Students were also able to get a close look at UWA’s world-class facilities on a tour led by some of UWA’s leading scientific researchers.

Mr Mayhew said he was surprised he won and is looking forward to competing against the winners from the other Australian states and territories at the national final to be held in Brisbane in December.

Last year’s WA winner Erwin Bauernschmitt from Woodvale Secondary College competed in the National Brain Bee in Sydney.

The 2009 WA winner Ms Uma Jha from Shenton College became the 2010 Australian Brain Bee Champion in Sydney and competed at the International Brain Bee in California. Ms Jha went on to complete a medical degree at UWA.

State Coordinator of the Brain Bee and UWA Senior Research Fellow Associate Professor Jenny Rodger, who was appointed head of Brain Plasticity Research at the Perron Institute at the start of 2018, has led the event for 11 years.

“I was excited to host the Brain Bee Finals again this year. The students are among the brightest in the state and always impress us with their extensive knowledge of the brain, and passion for learning. We hope the winner will lead WA to win the National Finals in December,” Associate Professor Jenny Rodger said.

Professor Charles Watson, Adjunct Professor at UWA and passionate lecturer, presented prizes and will mentor this year’s winner in preparation for the national challenge.

If you would like to find out how your school could participate in future challenges, contact Associate Professor Jenny Rodger via the UWA website.

The Perron Institute is a proud supporter of the Brain Bee.

Read the UWA news article