About the International Brain Bee
The International Brain Bee (IBB) is a neuroscience competition for high school students. Its purpose is to motivate young men and women to learn about the human brain, and to inspire them to enter careers in the basic and clinical brain sciences. The world needs future clinicians and researchers to treat and find cures for more than 1000 neurological and psychological disorders.
Dr. Norbert Myslinski founded the IBB at the University of Maryland in 1998 with 12 local chapters in North America. It has now grown to more than 150 chapters in more than 30 countries and six continents. Students advance through three tiers of competition from local to national and eventually to the International Championship. Approximately thirty thousand students compete annually. More than a hundred newspapers, radio and television stations cover the IBB and the student competitors, and about 50 web sites are devoted to IBB chapters. Winners have been recognized by Presidents and Ambassadors and other public officials. Many former competitors are now working in neuroscience, neurology, psychology and related fields.
Students prepare for the competition by studying books that are freely downloadable from the Internet in 16 different languages. Topics include 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 competition format is basically oral question and answer, but at higher tiers may also involve neuroanatomy laboratory tests with human brains, neurohistology tests with microscopes, patient diagnosis with actors, and MRI brain imaging analysis.
The IBB is a non-profit grassroots effort funded mainly by private contributions, but also helped by dozens of partners including The Society for Neuroscience, The International Brain Research Organization, and many colleges, universities, foundations, museums, hospitals, libraries, institutes, societies, and commercial companies and businesses. Organizations, such as The American Psychological Association and the Canadian Association for Neuroscience, host the IBB Championship at their annual conventions.
The IBB continues to expand and to capture the imagination of young men and women around the world. We challenge educators and scientists to start a brain bee in their city. We challenge students to compete! It's fun, easy and rewarding.
Most local coordinators are neuroscientists at universities. Others are teachers and administrators from high schools, museums, and industry who are interested in science education and community outreach.
According to its founder, Dr. Myslinski, "The International Brain Bee motivates our youth to learn more about the brain... We need their energy and their passion to help find cures for Autism, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and other brain disorders."
There are many reasons to participate in the International Brain Bee competition. Our students enjoy meeting teenagers from other schools, cities and countries while they learn more about the science of the brain. The IBB competition is a great opportunity for these students to expose themselves to more difficult reading materials than they may find in their high schools, and thus helps prepare them for college. Organizations that host Bees gain recognition in their community - these outreach programs often attract the media and offer free publicity to Brain Bee sponsors.
Students that participate in the Bees are eligible to win prizes like cash, research internships, and trips to other Brain Bee competitions.
Any high school student in grades 9 through 12 is eligible to compete in one of the Local Brain Bees. A student can only compete in one Local Bee per year. The winners of the Local Bees are invited to the National Bees, and the winners of the National Bees are invited to the International Championship. Students who have previously competed in the International Championship are not eligible to participate in it again, although they may compete in Local and National Brain Bees in subsequent years.
For more information about how you can be a part of the International Brain Bee, please follow the links below!