International Brain Bee Championship

28 July 2012

A record number of National Brain Bee Champions from Wales, Italy, India, Kenya, Canada, Germany, Romania, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Nigeria, United States of America, and the United Arab Emirates, met in Cape Town, South Africa, to compete the fourteenth annual International Brain Bee Championship, the “Olympics” of neuroscience for high school students, approximately 14 to 18 years of age. Topics included brain functions such as sensations, intelligence, emotions, movement, and consciousness; and brain dysfunctions such as Alzheimer's, autism, and addictions; as well as research techniques and medical technology.

The lead kept changing during this intense five-part competition which included a neuroanatomy laboratory exam with real human brains, a diagnosis section with patient actors, a neurohistology test, case studies and a straight question and answer section. New Zealand was ahead after Part 1. Romania was ahead after Part 4. But during Part 5, Australia made an amazing sprint to the finish to win by a 1% margin and become the 2012 World Brain Bee Champion. Her name is Teresa Tang and the Australian National Brain Bee Coordinator is Dr. Linda Richards. Teresa goes to Brisbane High School and represented Queensland. She enjoys swimming, playing the clarinet, and working with artificial intelligence. Her career interests include neuroscience research and computers.

Second place went to Ionut Flavius Bratu of Romania; third to Byung-Cheol Cho of New Zealand; fourth to Aiden Crank of the United States; and fifth to Shivam Panchal of India. There was a tie for sixth place between Italy and the United Arab Emirates. Canada, Germany and Singapore all tied for eighth place. Kenya, Wales, Malaysia, and Nigeria followed respectively.

The Brain Bee motivates youth to learn about the human brain and inspires them to consider careers in neuroscience, psychology, neurology and related fields. Dr. Norbert Myslinski from the University of Maryland is the Founder and President of this important non-profit grassroots program. Each of the 150 Brain Bee Chapters in 30 countries hold competitions involving tens of thousands of students. Each Chapter Winner competes in their respective National Championships. Each National Champion is invited to represent their country in the International Brain Bee Championship that is held in a different country every year. The major sponsor is Dr. S. M. Raju, whose generosity makes the Championship possible. Other sponsors are the University of Maryland and the Society for Neuroscience.

It hosted by the International Congress of Psychology, and supplied by the University of Cape Town. Dr. Myslinski is proud that The Brain Bee “Builds Better Brains to Fight Brain Disorders.”