Nina Ruzsicska from Darwin High School has been crowned the 2011 Northern Territory Brain Bee Champion in a battle of neuroscience knowledge held in Brisbane.
Nina outsmarted hundreds of competitors from across the Northern Territory to take out the title.
In the state finals, held today at the Queensland Brain Institute at The University of Queensland, Nina battled her peers in a brain-teasing question and answer session in front of a live audience.
Questions for the ABBC State and Territory 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 a very nerve-wracking but I prepared by doing lots of study with my sister, who spent a lot of time quizzing me,” Nina says.
“I learned lots about the brain along the way.”
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,” Professor Linda Richards says.
Nina will now go on to represent NT 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.
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NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
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.