Local high school students to compete in Brain Bee

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Photo of a neuron.

Brain Awareness Week seeks to increase public awareness about neuroscience.

KALAMAZOO—Southwest Michigan high school students will use their brains while learning about the brain during a neuroscience competition held Saturday, Feb. 22, on the campus of Western Michigan University.

The fourth annual Southwest Michigan Brain Bee is a key component of Brain Awareness Week, an educational outreach mission aimed at increasing public awareness about neuroscience. The winners of local brain bees from across the country participate in a national competition, the National Brain Bee, which since 1999 has been held each March in Baltimore. 

Registration and schedule

Final registration and check-in for the event is at 9:30 a.m. in Wood Hall, with the competition beginning at 10 a.m. It is organized and co-hosted by faculty and graduate students of the WMU departments of Psychology and Biological Sciences and includes a preliminary oral round with the top three contestants continuing on to a second round of oral questions. Following the brain competition, the WMU neuroscience labs personnel will conduct tours and offer some hands-on neuroanatomy demonstrations for the participants.

Registration is also available online. The official study material for the Brain Bee is a book titled, "Brain Facts," which can be downloaded for free at sfn.org.

About Brain Awareness Week

Brain Awareness Weeks launched in 1996 through the joint efforts of the Society for Neuroscience and The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. It is celebrated annually across the United States in mid-March and involves a variety of activities aimed at enhancing public interest and knowledge about the brain, including public lectures, neuroscience laboratory tours, and various projects and activities to engage students in learning about neuroscience.

The first Southwest Michigan local brain bee competition was held in 2011 at WMU.

For more information, visit swmichbrainbee.webs.com or email swmichbrainbee@gmail.com.