UWS hosts the NSW Brain Bee school students challenge
The University of Western Sydney School of Medicine hosted the State finals of the 2015 Australian Brain Bee Challenge On Thursday 16 July.
Students from high schools throughout NSW – including regional students from Coffs Harbour, Wagga Wagga, Armidale, Albury and Moama – tested their knowledge on a range of neuroscience topics.
This year 114 students from more than 30 schools across the state came together for the State Finals, answering questions on topics relating to the structure and function of the human brain.
Following an incredibly close competition, Onur Tanglay, from Sydney Secondary College, won the individual event. Second and third places were respectively awarded to Reuben Wallace, from Meadowbank Educational Trust (M.E.T) School and Ragavi Jeyakumar, from Presbyterian Ladies' College.
"I've been interested in neuroscience since I was a child and when I found out about the Brain Bee I was very excited and I could show my talents.
"I'm shocked, I didn't think I was going to win actually... I want to study medicine and then go into neurosurgery hopefully," Mr Tanglay said.
For the team event, James Ruse Agricultural High School was awarded first place, M.E.T School were awarded second with Presbyterian Ladies' College finishing third.
Professor Vaughan Macefield, from the UWS School of Medicine and NSW Coordinator of the Challenge, says the Brain Bee helps educate students on the most important organ in the human body.
"The Brain Bee encourages students to think about an organ that defines us as human, yet of which we understand very little.
"It is the curiosity of young people that we want the Brain Bee to encourage, to instil a desire to find out more about the brain and how much more there is to learn," says Professor Macefield.
Students, teachers and parents attending the finals benefited from short presentations on interesting aspects of neuroscience, delivered by UWS academics.
Students enjoyed an interactive neurophysiology workshop while tours of the School of Medicine were also available for everyone in attendance.
The NSW State Champion, Onur Tanglay, will proceed to the national finals to be held later this year, again at the UWS School of Medicine and may go on to represent Australia at the International Brain Bee Challenge.
Australia has won the International challenge twice since the Brain Bee was introduced in 1999. Teresa Tang from Brisbane State High School won the competition in 2012, followed by Jackson Huang from the Queensland Academy of Science in 2013.
First, second and third place winners received prizes donated by UWS. The top three teams won a set of neuroscience books for their school library, with members of the winning team receiving iPod Shuffles.
The top three individual students received a tablet or laptop along with a neuroscience book.
The students who made it through to the individual finals were each presented with a medal.
Schools participating in 2015 include:
Abbotsleigh School for Girls
All Saints College, Bathurst
Baulkham Hills High School*
Bethlehem College, Ashfield
Beverley Hills Girls High School
Cabramatta High School
Caroline Chisholm College
Catherine McAuley Westmead
Coffs Harbour High School
East Hills Boys High School
Elderslie High School
Hastings Secondary College, Port Macquarie
Holroyd High School
James Ruse Agricultural High School*
Mary Mackillop College
Merewether High School*
Meadowbank Educational Trust School, Wagga Wagga*
Moama Anglican Grammar*
Moss Vale High School
Mount Carmel Catholic High School
Normanhurst Boys High School*
Penrith High School*
Presbyterian Ladies' College, Armidale*
Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney
Santa Sabina College
Smith's Hill High School
Stella Maris College*
Strathfield Girls' High School*
Sydney Secondary College, Balmain
The Armidale School
The Hills Grammar School
The Illawarra Grammar School
*Indicates schools qualifying to enter team event
What: Brain Bee NSW State Finals for 2015
When: Thursday the 16th July 2015, 8:15am-4:00pm
Where: UWS Campbelltown Campus, School of Medicine, Bldg. 30. Corner of Goldsmith and David Pilgrim Avenues.
30 July 2015
Contact: Elliott Richardson, UWS Media Unit
Photos: Sally Tsoutas
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