The Brain Bee is an annual neuroscience competition organized by the Neuroscience Graduation Students’ Association (NGSA).
This competition is open to grade 10-12 students and all Edmonton-area high schools are invited to participate. Students study a diverse number of neuroscience topics including how brain diseases develop, methods of researching the brain and how the body senses the environment.
The winner of the regional competition receives a paid trip (provided by the Canadian Institute of Health Research) to the national competition at McMaster University and a one-month paid internship (provided by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Outreach Program) at a University of Alberta neuroscience research laboratory.
The NGSA is critically involved in planning the Brain Bee event and in preparing the Edmonton regional winner for the national competition. The Edmonton winner receives tutoring from neuroscience graduate students and access to a research laboratory for hands-on experience prior to the national competition.
The Brain Bee promotes awareness and interest in neuroscience within Edmonton high schools and the general community and provides an excellent opportunity for local high school students to engage in research at a university level and compete at a local and possibly national level.
Brain Bee 2014
This year the 2014 Edmonton Regional winner is Christopher Chan from Old Scona Academic High School. Christopher did extremely well at the national level, placing fourth.
Christopher is currently completing his internship in the laboratory of Dr. Elena Posse de Chaves, professor in the Department of Pharmacology and member of the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute, and is being mentored by Kevan Smith, a graduate student in the neuroscience program in the Chaves lab. Christopher is being introduced to cell biological and biochemical techniques that are useful in researching the cellular and molecular aspects of neuroscience and how their dysfunction leads to brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Brain Bee 2013
The 2013 local Edmonton regional winner was Gunvir Sidhu, a grade 12 student from Tempo School. Gunvir did very well at the national level, placing 7th.
Gunvir is currently pursuing an Honors in Neuroscience degree right here at the University of Alberta.
Read a local article featuring Gunvir.