After weeks of preparation, four Year 10 students from Westside Christian College will today descend upon UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute to compete in the state finals of the Brain Bee Challenge.
Congratulations go to Alec Allan, Ruth Brain, Riley Prestidge and Seth Smith.
Westside Christian College has a proud history of exceptional achievement in Queensland’s premiere neuroscience challenge. The Brain Bee Challenge, now in its twelfth year, is a test of knowledge about important facts concerning intelligence, memory, emotions, sensations, movement, stress, aging, sleep, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
Chosen from a field of over 5,000 students across Australia and New Zealand, these four continue a legacy, which last year saw Dawid Brits achieve third place in the individual challenge and second in the team challenge.
“Science is a team sport. It’s all about collaboration. It was a great opportunity for me and the school.”
Their day will begin with a visit to Queensland Brain Institute’s labs and MRI unit. Afterwards they are given the rare opportunity meet and greet Australia’s premiere neuroscience researchers and hear their keynotes addresses. Instructional Dean of Science at Westside, Nola Leverton, is humbled by their achievements “To get four students into the State Finals is big for any school – each year our students impress us with their determination, humility and knowledge.”
Students will have the opportunity to compete individually, as well as working together as a team. In the team challenge, students will strive to win science equipment, which will ultimately benefit their studies in the coming years. It is also a chance to secure their futures. Last year’s competitor, Michael Kleynhans reflected “Science is a team sport. It’s all about collaboration. It was a great opportunity for me and the school.” Head of Secondary, Mr Joshua Mansfield nods in agreement.
Female students will make up half of Westside’s competitors in a field of science traditionally dominated by men. Women are a minority in the field of neuroscience. In 2009, Westside Graduate Heidi Walkden was so encouraged by the competition and the research possibilities at the Queensland Brain Institute that she chose to enter the Medical Research Field in Neuroscience. She is now completing her PhD in neuroscience and microbiology.
The competition is designed to promote the study of neuroscience as a multidisciplinary endeavour. According to the Australian Brain Bee Challenge website, this encompasses all basic scientific disciplines including mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, psychology, medicine and bio- and nano-technologies.
Westside Christian College wishes to congratulate our Year 10 students and wish them all the best in the next round of competition.