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Edinburgh Brain Bee 2020

The Regional Brain Bee championship was held at the University of Edinburgh on 22 February 2020 to find the next generation of scientists.

Brain Bee 2020 organisers

The Edinburgh Brain Bee championship promotes brain science to secondary school pupils with the aim of motivating pupils to pursue careers in neuroscience.

This half day competition was open to all secondary school students in United Kingdom in an attempt to widen participations. Pupils from around 15 different schools participated, not only in Scotland (Edinburgh, East Lothian, Perth, Bannockburn and Inverness etc) but also throughout the United Kingdom (Newcastle and Manchester). Once again, the event was a great success and the participants provided positive feedback.

The competition consisted of two parts: a written exam and a histology, neuroanatomy and patient diagnosis exam. In addition, Dr Jennifer Paxton, a lecturer in anatomy gave a talk on anatomy and tissue engineering. This event also provided the high schools pupils with an opportunity to be introduced to the vibrant research community and variety of centres that make up Edinburgh Neuroscience, which is well-known for its integrated, cross-disciplinary and quality research.

Brain Bee 2020 participants

Congratulations to the winners:

  • 1st: Rhian Dowding (Dunbar Grammar School)
  • 2nd: Katherine Mellor (George Heriot’s)
  • 3rd: Priyanka Gopalkaje (Boroughmuir High School)
  • 4th: Daniel Edwards (Royal Grammar School Newcastle)
  • 5th: Angus Baker (Nairn Academy)

“This is an amazing opportunity to promote the next generation of scientists and for university students to lead a neuroscience outreach event.” says Anna Norton and Heema Ajeet Gokani, co-organisers and MSc students of the Edinburgh Brain Bee.

“We are delighted in sharing our passion for neuroscience with motivated young people, their parents and interested teachers. I am very proud of the Edinburgh university students who organised such a successful event”, says Dr Dorothy Tse, Edinburgh Brain Bee hub director and senior post-doc at the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences.

The prestigious competition has further rounds; in the near future, the National Competition, for which the first 5 winners from each regional hubs (from all over the UK) are invited, will take place in London on March 2020. It will be followed by the anticipated International Brain Bee Competition in 2020, Washington.

The event was funded by the Principal's Teaching Award Scheme at the University of Edinburgh and also supported by Edinburgh Neuroscience.