Professor stands at front of classroom with high school students taking notesActing dean of science Dora Cavallo-Medved addresses competitors in the third annual UWindsor Brain Bee.

Brain bee sets high schoolers buzzing

An elite group of high school students spent the day at the University of Windsor on March 22, flexing their academic muscles at the third annual UWindsor Brain Bee competition.

Students study topics on memory, sleep, intelligence, emotion, perception, stress, aging, brain imaging, neurology, neurotransmitters, genetics, brain disease, and are then tested on their knowledge of the brain and neuroscience research.

The in-person event saw eight students from grades 11 and 12 compete. The top three competitors received entrance scholarships, ranging from $500 to $1,500, to pursue studies at the University of Windsor in the science program of their choice.

Twelfth grader Olivia Dundas from Assumption College Catholic High School claimed first place. She will go on to compete in the CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee to be held May 19 and 20 at McMaster University in Hamilton.

“I thought this was a fun chance to compete in neuroscience, and see the University,” says Dundas.

Eleventh grader Rami Haddadin of F.J. Brennan Catholic High School came in second place and 12th grader Simona Brezeanu from Tecumseh Vista Academy Secondary School finished third.

UWindsor’s Brain Bee was organized by biomedical sciences professor Jeff Dason, experiential learning specialist Michelle Bondy, and student volunteers from Dr. Dason’s lab: Claire Richter Gorey, Allie St. Louis, Dunya Assaf, Adam Sghaier, and Nadia Marangelli.

“Brain Bee competitions are held around the world and it’s a great way to get high school students interested in neuroscience,” Dason says. “This was the first in-person Brain Bee in Windsor and we hope to expand it in future years.”

—Sara Elliott

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