NSW winner of Australian Brain Bee Challenge declared at UWS

Date: 17/06/2009

Over 120 Year 10 high school students from 34 schools around NSW gathered yesterday for the NSW finals of Australian Brain Bee Challenge at the University of Western Sydney Campbelltown campus.

After a very close final round Andrew Li, a Year 10 student from James Ruse Agricultural High School, was declared the NSW State Champion.

The tightly contested final required 30 minutes of additional time and extra questions to separate the three finalists.

2nd place went to Elizabeth Huynh, also from James Ruse Agricultural High, while 3rd place went to Jedda Elliott from The Illawarra Grammar School.

The Brain Bee consists of live question and answer rounds where students are tested on topics such as intelligence, memory, emotions, sensations, movement, stress, sleep and addiction.

The place getters in the individual event each received a $20,000 scholarship from the University of Western Sydney to be used for any course at UWS, other than Medicine, provided they meet the usual entry requirements.

The team event was won by students from Baulkham Hills High School.

This year over 3000 Australian students entered the national challenge which holds state finals simultaneously around the country.

Andrew Li will represent NSW at the National Championships to be held during the annual meeting of the Australian Neuroscience Society Conference, at the Sydney Convention Centre in January 2010. The Australian champion will then go on to represent the country at the International Brain Bee Challenge in North America.

Professor Vaughan Macefield, from the UWS School of Medicine and NSW Coordinator of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge, congratulates the students on their achievements.

"It's essential we actively engage high school students in science. They are the next generation of scientists who will continue the journey of exploration being undertaken by today's researchers," says Professor Macefield.

"The Brain Bee is a great opportunity for young students to learn about the human brain and test their knowledge among their peers in a fun and rewarding environment. Hopefully, the challenge will inspire many of the students to pursue tertiary studies in science, specifically in neuroscience."

Last year's NSW finalist, Jayson Jeganathan from Baulkham Hills High School went on to win the National finals, and presented the trophy to this year's NSW winner.

Editors note: photos are available on request.



Senior Media Officer

Paul Grocott
02 9678 7083, 0406 429 304