The winners of the USA National Brain Bee Championship were announced after taking place in Baltimore, Maryland, during last week’s Brain Awareness Week. Akhil Kondepudi from St. Louis, Missouri, took home the first-place prize at the annual, three-day competition, held this year from March 16 to 18. Competition was fierce as the 54 participants each placed first in their respective regional Brain Bee competitions, held across the country. (We covered the New York City Regional Brain Bee back in February.)
The national competition tests high school students on a range of topics covering all aspects of neuroscience, including intelligence, emotions, memory, sleep, neurodegenerative diseases, schizophrenia, addictions, and the senses. The competition involved a neuroanatomy laboratory practical exam with real human brains, patient diagnosis with patient actors, neurohistology, brain MRI imaging identification, and Q&A.
In addition to a monetary prize, Kondepudi was awarded an eight-week internship in a neuroscience lab and will represent the US at the World Brain Bee Championship this July in Berlin. A donation was also given to the Disabled American Veterans organization. Second-place went to Hemanth Asirvatham of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and third-place was awarded to Sehej Bindra of Piscataway, New Jersey. This is the 11th consecutive year for the National Brain Bee Championship. Congratulations to all participants!
– Seimi Rurup