Montreal’s collective IQ will surge tomorrow (February 12, 2010) as high-school students from across the city meet to compete in the 2010 Montreal regional Brain Bee competition. This exciting challenge tests for knowledge of the brain and neuroscience. The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro, McGill University hosts the competition and graduate students from the institute have been instrumental in mentoring and tutoring the students to prepare them for the challenge, equipping them with tools to become the next generation of scientists.
“The Brain Bee motivates students to learn about the brain, captures their imagination, and inspires them to pursue careers in biomedical brain research,” says Marta Ceko, doctoral candidate who along with Audrey Laferrière and other graduate students at The Neuro has helped to organize the local quiz. “It is the energy and passion of these talented and bright students that may help us to find cures for autism, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and other brain disorders.”
The Brain Bee is fashioned after a traditional spelling bee, except that students answer questions about memory, sleep, intelligence, emotion, perception, stress, aging, brain-imaging, neurology, neurotransmitters, genetics, and brain disease. Preparation for the local competition is daunting. Students have to learn and digest materials from a 60-page booklet on the brain called ‘Neuroscience: Science of the Brain’, produced by the Society for Neuroscience which is the basis for the 480 skill-testing questions.
The winner of the local brain bee wins a trip to McMaster University to compete in the CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee on May 28 with students from across the country. The winner of that event goes on to compete with students from all over the globe including India, Australia, Egypt and the US, at the International Brain Bee in San Diego, California.
31 students from 6 schools across the Montreal area are participating in the local contest which is open to all high-school students. In addition to the competition, the Montreal Brain Bee includes games, prizes and a presentation.
About the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital:
The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) is a unique academic medical centre dedicated to neuroscience. The Neuro is a research and teaching institute of McGill University and forms the basis for the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. Founded in 1934 by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, The Neuro is recognized internationally for integrating research, compassionate patient care and advanced training, all key to advances in science and medicine. Neuro researchers are world leaders in cellular and molecular neuroscience, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience and the study and treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders. For more information, please visit www.mni.mcgill.ca.