In order to compete in the US National Championship, a student must win one of the Local Brain Bees. Students may only compete in one Local Bee per year. The United States National Brain Bee was held March 20th-21st, 2009 in Baltimore Maryland. Congratulations to our 2009 US National Brain Bee winner Julia Chartove from Richard Montgomery High School in Washington DC. Click here for a play-by-play of the 2009 competition!
The 2010 US National Brain Bee Schedule can be found HERE.
US National Brain Bee Schedule & Resources
Questions at the US National Brain Bee will be taken from the British Neuroscience Association's publication Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain which is available at the Association's website. The Championship involves two parts. The top students from Part I go on to Part II. The maximum total for Part I is 100 points.
- Patient Diagnosis (20%). Students will spend 4 minutes alone with each of 12 patient actors. By observing them, asking them 3 questions, and ordering 2 laboratory or clinical tests they are to diagnose the patient’s neurological or psychological disorder. Students must then match each of the following 10 disorders with one of the patients: bipolar disorder, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia, stroke, neurological AIDS and autism. Patients are only allowed to answer “yes”, “no” or “I don’t know” to the 3 questions. Students will select from a list of diagnostic tests and will immediately be given the results to help their diagnosis. Students can prepare by studying the basic signs, symptoms and diagnostic procedures for these disorders. A concise place to find this is in the Medical Encyclopedia of Medline-Plus which can be found at the National Library of Medicine website: medlineplus.gov.
- Written Test (15%). All competitors are given the same fifteen multiple-choice questions. Students can prepare by studying Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain (2003) published by British Neuroscience Association and the European Dana Alliance for the Brain. This publication is available on-line at www.ibro.org; click on brain campaign and then choose the English version.
- Oral Question and Answer Session II (21%). Seven different questions are asked of each student. They require a one word or phrase answer. There may be one or two rounds of visuals. Students can prepare by studying Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain (2003). This publication is available on-line at www.ibro.org; click on brain campaign and then choose the English version.
Neurohistology (5%) This involves competitors rotating through stations consisting of histological sections of the brain and nervous system. Students must be able to recall the names of indicated cells and parts of the nervous system. Students can prepare by studying any basic neurohistology text book. All histological sections will be of structions mentioned in Brain Facts. Students can also use the external and midline sagittal slides from this website: http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/HISTHTML/NEURANAT/NEURANCA.html
Oral Question and Answer Elimination. The top 5 students from Part I compete in Part II. (If there is a tie for fifth place, a written exam will be given to determine who advances to Part II). Competitors will be given the same questions orally one at a time. They will have 15 seconds to write the answers on a pad given to them. At the end of the 15 seconds, they will each read their answers out load. A student is eliminated after giving two wrong answers. The last student left standing is the winner. Students can prepare by studying Neuroscience: The Science of the Brain and Brain Facts.
For a schedule of the 2010 US Brain Bee activities, please click here. The official schedule of events will also be distributed to the competitors and their chaperones.
The US National Champion will receive $1,500, a paid summer internship with an esteemed neuroscientist, and a trip for two to the International Brain Bee Championship in San Diego, California August 12th-15th 2010. In addition, the school of the USA winner will recieve a microscope from Carl Zeiss, Inc. The second place finisher will receive $1,000, and the third place finisher will receive $500.
The Bee will be held in the University of Maryland Medical School, located at 685 W. Baltimore Street in Baltimore, Maryland. Driving directions to the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus can be found at the school's website, along with additional parking information.
Rooms will be held at a discounted rate at the Holiday Inn - Inner Harbor which is located 6 blocks east of the competition. The address is 301 W. Lombard Street in Baltimore, Maryland, and the rooms can be reserved by calling (410) 685-3500. The discounted rate is $129 per night and only apply to rooms reserved by March 8th, 2010.
If you are flying into the Baltimore/Washington International Airport, the Holiday Inn is easily accessible. Take I-295 north for 8 miles to the Pratt Street exit. Turn right on Pratt Street, proceed for two blocks, then turn left onto Howard Street. Proceed for one block, then turn left on Lombard Street. The hotel driveway will be immediately on your left.
From 1-95 (points north or south), take exit 53 for 395N and follow signs for downtown. Cross over Pratt Street and make your next left onto Lombard Street. The hotel driveway will be immediately on your left.
This year, 44 Local Brain Bees will be
held in the United States alone
Since the International Brain Bee program growing so rapidly, it is important that we stay organized and up to date. In the past, simple e-mail was an effective means of communication, but with more than seventy Local Brain Bees occurring worldwide this year, the IBB coordinators recognized the need to have a more formal system.
Each Local Brain Bee coordinator will be asked to fill out the annual Local Brain Bee Report Form at the conclusion of his or her competition. Although the form is not very lengthy, it will help us plan for the subsequent National and International Bees each year. Coordinators should also fill out the US National Brain Bee Registration Form if the Local Bee winner plans to attend our national competition. The information on this form and the $75 registration fee will help us more accurately plan the US National Competition and ensure that there are enough resources for all of our competitors.
Both of these forms can be sent to us via e-mail, or printed and mailed to:
Department of Pain and Neural Sciences, 8th floor
650 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201 USA