Adam Molon, a student at Andrean High School, captured first place at the second annual Brain Bee competition hosted by Indiana University Northwest.
Molon is now eligible, and plans to, represent Northwest Indiana at the International Brain Bee competition to be held March 18 and 19, at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.
Several high schools from the area sent dozens of students to the live question-and-answer competition that tests neuroscience knowledge. Students studied a text called "Brain Facts," which is published by the Society for Neuroscience. These texts were supplied to local high school teachers before the event and contain questions pertaining to such areas as memory, intelligence, emotions, sensations, stress and brain disorders. The schools and teachers that participated were Hobart High School with Barbara Loverich, Hebron High School with Christine Dutlinger and George Rogers Clark High School with Fran Reinke.
Molon, the first place winner, is from Andrean High School and sponsored by Christine Dutlinger from Hebron High School. Other winners of the competition were Maggie Riggs, a student at Hebron High School who took second place, and Mariah Drazer, also from Hebron High School who won third place. George Rogers Clark High School won the team competition.
According to one of the judges and hosts of the event, Karl Nelson, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, student participants not only have a good time, but learn a lot as well.
"I think that all students who attended the brain bee benefited. First, the students gained more knowledge of how the brain works, and of relationships between brain functioning and many behaviors. Often these relationships are taken for granted. Thus, the studying for the competition also has a potential secondary benefit. Students may come to understand themselves and those around them, in greater depth. Third and most importantly, the students appeared to have quite a bit of fun during the individual and team competition. This is important because enjoying these topics now has, I believe, the greatest possibility of increasing student interest during the college years in related fields (e.g., psychology, nursing, medicine, biology, artificial intelligence, etc.)," Nelson said.
The week of March 14 – 20, 2005 is National Brain Awareness Week, organized in
1996 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the Society for Neuroscience to alert the public to advances in neuroscience and to the importance of continued research and education. The week has become both a national and international event, involving programs in 29 countries developed by universities, hospitals, government agencies, research centers and patient advocacy groups around the world, including the National Alzheimer’s Association, and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. For more information about Brain Awareness Week, please visit: http://web.sfn.org/baw/bee.cfm
For more information about the Brain Bee competition, please contact the IU Northwest Department of Psychology at (219) 980-6680.
Sample Questions from the Brain Bee:
Here are some of the 800 questions that were used in the competition:
1. Q: Approximately how many neurons does the brain contain?
A: 100 billion
2. Q: Name the device that measures brain waves.
3. Q: Stargazer mice are experimental models for which type of epilepsy?
A: Petit mal epilepsy
4: Q: Prozac relieves symptoms of depression by affecting what