Brain Bee

 “The brain is the organ of destiny. It holds within its humming mechanism secrets that will determine the future of the human race.” – Wilder Penfield.

This year, over 1600 students across Australia and New Zealand felt compelled by these profound words of Wilder Penfield, an Australian-Canadian neuroscientist, and chose to participate in The Australian and New Zealand Brain Bee.

This annual competition aims to promote an interest in the growing field of neuroscience. This year, 11 students from Westlake Girls’, who were supported by Ms Devanshi Bhavsar, participated in not only two online quizzes (Round One and Two) but an educational journey that highlighted the importance of the human brain, explained the significance of understanding it, and showcased the interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience, which encompasses fields such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology.

On 26 June, Year 11 students who were successful in the first online round were invited to the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences to take part in lab tours, visit the anatomy museum, talk to senior and junior neuroscientists, take part in team quizzes, and watch the ten most highly scoring students in the second online quiz, one of which was Meera Mistry from 11HSG, take part in the North Island Final. All of this is done to be empowered and inspired by the latest findings and projects of the Centre for Brain Research and how this has and will continue to impact real people.

As previously mentioned, the students selected to participate in this event were among the top in Australia and New Zealand. With over 186 students participating in Round Two in the North Island alone, Meera Mistry’s accomplishment of ranking 4th overall was one to commend. This competition proved to be a transformative experience for many, including Meera Mistry. For her dedication and achievement, she gained a Neurological Foundation Brain Bee Internship, which will allow her to spend one day immersed in cutting-edge neurological research at the Centre of Brain Research. In addition to this, she received a UBIQ Bookshop voucher worth $50.00.

With the hours of Education Perfect tasks now well behind this group of students, it is the prospect of learning to understand, rather than simply know something that compels them to continue to support one another and to work with a fierce dedication to help inspire the next-year group to rise to the challenge.  By Diya Kansara