Second Annual Competition, May 30, McMaster University

Find more photos here:  2009 CCNBB Flickr Photos


Congratulations to all our contestants for a truly amazing show!

The competition was fierce and very tight.  Any one of these brilliant students could represent Canada, we were so impressed with the high level of knowledge and poise — there was no doubt that we were in the presence of tomorrow’s neuroscientists.

The 2009 contestants representing their regions were:

Michael Sloan, representing Newfoundland Brain Bee
Sofia Essayan-Perez, representing Montreal Brain Bee
Julia Shin, representing Hamilton Brain Bee
Stella Park, representing London Brain Bee
Liwei Li, representing Guelph Brain Bee
Paul Lao, representing Vancouver Brain Bee
Nafisa Tasnim, representing Waterloo Brain Bee
Sean Amodeo, representing Toronto Brain Bee
Jeremy Wang, representing Kingston Brain Bee
Jenny Lou, representing Edmonton Brain Bee
Audrey Cheung, representing Calgary Brain Bee
Iwona Borycz, representing Halifax Brain Bee

But in the end, there can be only one champion!

First Place:  Sean Amodeo, York Memorial Collegiate Institute, representing Toronto Brain Bee
Second Place:  Liwei Li, Centennial CVI, representing Guelph Brain Bee
Third Place:  Sofia Essayan-Perez, The Study School, representing Montreal Brain Bee

Twelve high school students from across the country competed this week at McMaster University for the title of best brain in Canada.

The annual CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee took place May 29 and 30 in Hamilton with winners of regional Brain Bee competitions being quizzed on such topics as memory, sleep, brain disease, aging, and perception, as well as their skills at patient diagnosis and neuroanatomy.

Hosted by McMaster University’s Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB), the event is supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR). The 12 regional contestants hail from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, London, Waterloo, Guelph, Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, Halifax, and St. John’s.

“Neuroscience research is one of the great frontiers of scientific research,” says Judith Shedden, associate professor in PNB, and chair of the CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee Committee. “An important goal of the Brain Bee is to reach out to our extended communities to share what we, as scientists, are doing in our laboratories.”

“CIHR is proud to sponsor the second annual CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee,” said Dr. Anthony Phillips, scientific director at the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction. “It is essential for CIHR to encourage these talented students to get involved in science, since they represent the future in this field.”

First-, second- and third-prize winners were awarded trophies as well as $1,500, $1,000, and $500 scholarship awards respectively. The first-prize winner was also awarded a summer internship in a neuroscience laboratory, and represented Canada at the International Brain Bee on August 8th in Toronto.

The Brain Bee is a competition for high school students, grades 9 through 12, on such topics as memory, sleep, intelligence, emotion, perception, stress, aging, brain-imaging, neurology, neurotransmitters, genetics, and brain disease. The competition is designed to stimulate interest and excitement about the brain and neuroscience research by bringing students into their local university setting to meet students and professors who conduct brain research. It is an avenue of communication, through media and students, to raise awareness of brain research in the community, and to as a means to attract students to the field of neuroscience.