More than 50 students from 15 Western Australian schools had the chance to test their knowledge of all things brain-related at the annual Australian Brain Bee Challenge held at The University of Western Australia recently.

The event is the country’s only neuroscience competition for high school students who learn about brain structure and functions.

Brain Bee State Coordinator Associate Professor Jenny Rodger, senior MSWA Research Fellow and head of Brain Plasticity Research at UWA and Perron Institute, has been involved in the Brain Bee for 16 years.

“The competition is an opportunity for students to learn more about neurological conditions and brain disorders that may contribute to mental illness,” Associate Professor Rodger said.

“Previous winners have become postgraduate students, researchers and professionals in the field.”

Guest speaker Dr Frances Theunissen said there were many opportunities for students interested in careers in neuroscience.

“The most important thing is to follow your curiosity because that will provide a pathway to finding a career that you are the most passionate about,’ Dr Theunissen said.

“The more students we can get interested in learning about neurological conditions and pursing research, the more likely we will be able to better understand and treat these complex disorders in the future.”

Professor Charles Watson, Chairman of the Neurological Council of WA and a Senior Honorary Research Fellow from UWA’s School of Biological Sciences, presented the prizes.

The overall winner of the WA competition was Samuel Richards from Rehoboth Christian College.

UWA, the Perron Institute and the Neurotrauma Research Program support the WA competition within the national event.

The Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society and Neurotrauma Research Program sponsored prizes for the event.

Image caption: Brain Bee 2023 winners with Prof Charles Watson and Dr Rebekah Puls.