March 10, 2021 | Glendale, AZ
On Wednesday, March 3rd, Midwestern University virtually hosted 73 of the country’s top high school students for the 22nd Annual Arizona Regional Brain Bee, an educational competition similar to a spelling bee that focuses on neuroscience. The 2021 Arizona Regional Brain Bee at Midwestern University was presented in partnership with the BHHS Legacy Foundation.
This year, in recognition of COVID-19 restrictions, the Arizona Regional Brain Bee was held via an online Zoom meeting. Because other regional Brain Bees across the nation were canceled due to the pandemic, participants from as far away as Texas, New England, and North Carolina were invited to join local Arizona students to test their knowledge of the human brain and how it governs human behavior, and the science that helps medical professionals understand brain function.
The top three Brain Bee finishers, in order, were Neha Nedumaran from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire; Sanjana Pulaparthi from Westborough High School in Westborough, Massachusetts; and Avinash Murlikrishnan from BASIS Chandler. Ms. Nedumaran will go on to compete at the National Brain Bee, which will be hosted virtually on April 10 – 11 by Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED).
Douglas Jones, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmacology, at the Midwestern University College of Graduate Studies, served as the Faculty Academic Director for the event. Gen Fitzgerald, a second-year medical student at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine who won the Arizona Regional Brain Bee as a student at Desert Vista High School in 2013, served as the lead judge for the competition. Midwestern University faculty and student volunteers served as judges, question readers, timers, and scorekeepers in Zoom breakout rooms.
Questions ran the gamut from identifying physical features of the brain itself to naming brain disorders and diseases to surgical and medical practices that modify neural behaviors.