On Wednesday, February 6th, Midwestern University welcomed some of Arizona's top high school students for the annual Arizona Regional Brain Bee, an educational competition similar to a spelling bee that focuses on neuroscience. The 2013 Arizona Regional Brain Bee at Midwestern University was presented in partnership with the BHHS Legacy Foundation.
One hundred twenty students from 17 Arizona high schools, some of whom came to the Brain Bee from as far away as Kingman, converged on the University's Glendale Campus to test their knowledge of the human brain, how it governs human behavior, and the science that helps medical professionals understand brain function. It was the largest turnout for the Brain Bee since Midwestern University began hosting it in 1999.
Midwestern University faculty and students served as judges, question readers, timers, and scorekeepers for the Brain Bee, using the book Brain Facts, published by the Society for Neuroscience, as the source text. 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.
The top three Brain Bee finishers, in order, were Gen Fitzgerald from Desert Vista High School and Patric Cao and Joyce Wen from Corona Del Sol High School. In addition to fielding two of the top three individual finishers, the Corona Del Sol team took the victory in the overall team competition and won the coveted "Brain Caps" - hats which feature accurately-positioned maps of the brain where the hat sits on the wearer's head. Desert Vista High School and Hamilton High School finished second and third respectively.
For his performance in the Brain Bee, Mr. Fitzgerald won a $2,000 scholarship towards tuition in any Midwestern University program at either the University's Glendale Campus or the campus in Downers Grove, Illinois, as well as travel expenses to help him as he competes at the upcoming National Brain Bee in Washington, D.C.
An impressive 20 of the 120 students made it to the final round of competition at this year's Brain Bee. All participants received certificates of participation as well as Brain Bee T-shirts.