This is an international competition that will give you a chance to show your knowledge about the fantastic human brain and gain new skills! They will test your awareness of neuroscience - the structure and function of nervous systems, causes and methods of disease treatment. You will listen to the lectures of scientists and join the community of like-minded people.
For students and parents
What is the International Brain Bee?
This is an international competition that will give you a chance to show your knowledge about the fantastic human brain and gain new skills! In the competition they will test your awareness of neuroscience - the structure and function of nervous systems, causes and methods of disease treatment. You will listen to the lectures of scientists and join the community of like-minded people.
The International Brain Bee Competition was founded by Norbert Myslinski, a neuroscientist from the American University of Maryland. It has been held for school students since 1998, and in 2012 Ukraine joined it for the first time. There are national competitions in more than 50 countries worldwide – the winners can apply for participation in the world finals.
Do you want to find out why the brain remembers memes faster than math formulas? What happens in our heads when we fall in love? Why is studying foreign languages easy for one while playing the ukulele – for others?
Would you like to show and pump the knowledge from various sciences? If yes, then the International Brain Bee is just for you!
What is neuroscience?
Neuroscience is a discipline that explains how our brains work, how we perceive and analyze information and why. A century and a half ago, scientists began studying neurons, cells of the nervous system. They have only been working on a complete map of neural connections - the connectome for a few decades. There is plenty left to explore, and each new piece of knowledge can help discover something fantastic, such as robotic arms for a person with paralysis or an implant that improves memory.
Who is this competition for? What opportunities can it bring for me?
Students of 8-11 grades are welcome to take part in the Ukrainian selection. You can take a free course of lectures from the JAS on the human brain and psyche, neurological diseases, and treatment to prepare for the selection. You will learn to distinguish the components of the nervous system and learn about their functions - this will help you in your further scientific or medical career.
The international competition final takes place in world centers of neuroscience. After the pandemic is over, the competition is to be hosted by the Forum of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies in Paris. You will meet world scientists and find like-minded people from all over the world there. And you will compete for a cash prize of up to $3,000 and a chance to participate in a summer school!
How is the competition in Ukraine organized?
The national selection consists of two stages.
The first stage is online testing. It takes place in March, during World Brain Awareness Week. You will be asked to answer questions about the brain and nervous system structure, the causes, and the ways to treat some nervous diseases.
The second stage is the final. It is usually hosted by the Bogomolets Institute of Physiology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Kyiv. During a pandemic, this stage is also being held online. You will be asked to complete the final tasks in English.
You have to demonstrate your knowledge of histology and anatomy, diagnose diseases based on descriptions of clinical cases, and determine nerve structures on models. By the link, you will find a list of valuable topics to study more deeply because this knowledge will help you during the competition.
How to prepare for the competition? Is there a special course?
Yes, you can join our online course on neuroscience for free. It begins in September and ends in March. During 25 lessons we will cover four topics:
Anatomy of the nervous system: you will get acquainted with the main structures of the brain, their features and connections.
Physiology of nerve cells: you will learn about membrane currents, electrical potentials and the work of synapses.
Functional systems: you will understand how the structures of the nervous system combine, ensure the work of the senses and affect the control of movements, regulation of internal organs, the formation of mental phenomena etc..
Diseases of the nervous system: you will look at the origin and development of disorders and diseases, methods of diagnosis and treatment.
Neuroscientists and teachers will guide you during your studies. Anastasia Tsymbalyuk and Igor Arefyev, who won the Ukrainian competition and represented Ukraine at the international competition in 2017 and 2019 are going to be mentors as well. They will explain what to look out for during the preparation and will share their experience of participation in the International Brain Bee.
The final stage of the International Brain Bee consists of five challenges:
Neuroanatomy - at this stage you will look for brain components on the model or anatomical samples, and explain their functions. You will also work with tissues: you have to define what exactly you see under a microscope, and also to name its functions.
Diagnosis - you will be asked to watch a video from the patient's examination room and their medical records and make a diagnosis. You will be allowed to order additional tests or examine in detail the results of existing ones.
Written test – you will be given a test with both simple tasks with several possible answers and complex ones.
Questions and answers - at this stage you and the other participants will get the questions from the jury. Everyone will have a minute to respond in writing.
All the finalists will be awarded: the first five places will get a reward, and the first three will receive prizes!
Will I need to go abroad?
During the pandemic the competition is held online.
If the organizers decided to return to the offline format, the participants of the final competition event would come to one of the neuro searching centers. The International Department of the JAS will help you organize your trip and accommodation. The JAS representative will accompany the Ukrainian team to help with everything.
How not to miss the next selection?
You will find all the necessary information on the websites of the Ukrainian and international stages of the International Brain Bee Competition. You can always learn more about neuroscience and our preparatory course on the Facebook page or in the Telegram channel.
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