Teresa Tang from Brisbane State High School has been crowned the 2011 Queensland Brain Bee Champion in a battle of neuroscience knowledge held in Brisbane.
Teresa outsmarted hundreds of competitors from across Queensland to take out the title.
In the state finals, held today at the Queensland Brain Institute at The University of Queensland, Teresa battled her peers in a brain-teasing question and answer session in front of a live audience.
Questions for the ABBC State Finals come from Brain Facts, a booklet produced by the American Society for Neuroscience which explains neuroscience in a fun and interesting way.
“It was so nerve-wracking, I was physically shaking as I was answering the questions,” Teresa says.
“I spent a lot of time studying but I was still shocked when I won.”
In second place was Rebecca Day from the Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology, while Christian Tseng from Mount Gravatt State High School was close behind in third place.
The competition is designed to challenge the best and brightest high school students, while also giving them unprecedented access to leading neuroscience facilities.
As part of the finals, students were given a rare opportunity to tour QBI’s state-of-the-art laboratories and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facilities and to meet with neuroscientists working at the Institute.
“The Australian Brain Bee Challenge is designed to inspire students to learn more about the brain and to consider a career as a neuroscientist,” QBI Professor and ABBC organiser Professor Linda Richards says.
Teresa will now go on to represent Queensland at the national finals being held at the Australian Neuroscience Society (ANS) meeting on Queensland’s Gold Coast from 29 January to 01 February 2012.
The ABBC national champion will then represent Australasia at the international finals overseas.
AUSTRALIAN BRAIN BEE CHALLENGE
The Australian Brain Bee Challenge (ABBC) is the country’s largest neuroscience competition for high school students. The competition is designed to test school students’ knowledge about a range of topics, including intelligence, memory, emotions, sleep, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. This year, 5,629 students from 305 schools took part.
QUEENSLAND BRAIN INSTITUTE
The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) was established as a research institute of The University of Queensland in 2003. The Institute is now operating out of a $63 million state-of-the-art facility which houses 33 principal investigators with strong international reputations. QBI is one of the largest neuroscience institutes in the world dedicated to understanding the mechanisms underlying brain function.