Tensions and emotions were both running high at yesterday’s state finals of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge, which saw Somerset College win both the individual and teams competitions at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI).
Casey Linton, who won the individual competition in a close tussle, was joined on the winning dais by fellow competitors, Louisa Morello, Greta Mayr, Roy Kuo, who combined to win the team competition for Somerset College.
ABBC coordinator and QBI neuroscientist Associate Professor Linda Richards congratulated the more than 100 finalists who came from schools as far away as Mareeba to compete in an event she described as a huge success.
“It was especially wonderful that we could have the brain bee in our new Queensland Brain Institute building,” Dr Richards said.
“The competition continued at a fast pace throughout the day with some nail-biting moments as more teams were eliminated in the preliminary rounds – which was filmed by television network Channel 10.”
Dr Richards thanked the Minister for Education and Training Mr Rod Welford MP for coming to QBI to officially open this year's finals.
During his opening remarks, Mr Welford congratulated QBI on its on-going research efforts in seeking to understand the mechanisms that underpin memory and learning.
"Health is going to be one of the major issues of the twenty-first century," Mr Welford said.
During a lunch-time lecture, QBI’s Foundation Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, Professor Jason Mattingley entertained students with a presentation about neuroscience and the nature of conscious experience, which demonstrated the astounding capacity of the brain for selective attention.
Dr Richards said she had also received very positive feedback from the students and teachers who attended tours of laboratories and neuroscience demonstrations, particularly UQ’s Centre for Magnetic Resonance, which was again one of the favourites.
“Overall, the event inspired and excited young Australians, challenging them to think about neuroscience in a whole new way,” Dr Richards said.
Results of Round 2 ABBC Queensland Final 2008
First – Somerset College, Casey Linton, Louisa Morello, Greta Mayr, Roy Kuo
Second – Mount Alvernia College Elise Byrne, Kristy Butler, Tianna Camilleri, Stephanie Mills
Third – The Rockhampton Grammar School Ifreet Mahmood, Amy Leeder, Chantal McNaught, Robert Hasell
First – Casey Linton, Somerset College
Second – Kristy Butler, Mount Alvernia College
Third – Lauren Simpson, Proserpine State High School
For more information, please contact:
QBI Communications Office
Tel: +61 7 3346 6434
Notes to the Editor
QUEENSLAND BRAIN INSTITUTE
The Queensland Brain Institute was formed in 2003 as part of the Queensland Government’s Smart State Initiative, building on a long history of neuroscience at The University of Queensland. QBI is dedicated to understanding the molecular basis of brain function and applying this knowledge to the development of new therapeutics to treat brain and mental health disorders.
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. In 2010, more than 10,000 students are expected to take part nationally.