Fifth Annual IUPUI Brain Bee to Test Brain Power of Local High School Students

Release Date: 
Dec 6 2013

Students compete in the 2013 Brain BeeTwenty-five high school students from across the state will have an opportunity to prove their brain power by competing in the fifth annual Indianapolis Brain Bee on Saturday, December 7, 2013, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Modeled after a traditional spelling bee, the Brain Bee is a live question and answer competition with students answering questions until only one competitor remains standing.

In addition to the competition, participants will also tour several neuroscience laboratories at the School of Science at IUPUI. The school launched a new undergraduate neuroscience program last fall, and the interdisciplinary program has become very popular.

“The Brain Bee serves as a great opportunity for high school students to learn about neuroscience and be exposed to more difficult and challenging material than they are used to seeing in high school. Participants are among the best young scientists in the state,” said Bethany Neal-Beliveau, Ph.D., director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Psychology in the School of Science at IUPUI.

Students from ten high schools in the Indianapolis area, Avon, Muncie, and South Bend have spent months preparing for the competition by studying a 74-page primer on the brain and nervous system published by the Society for Neuroscience. Like a spelling bee, each student will be asked questions in turn. When a question is answered incorrectly the student will be asked to be seated and they will not be asked further questions. The Brain Bee will continue until a single student remains, having answered all of his/her questions correctly.

“We’re excited by the interest in the contest,” said Steve Boehm, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and director of the neuroscience program. “We have some extremely motivated students vying for the title of Indiana’s Brain Bee Champion.”

In addition to a scholarship to IUPUI, the first place winner of the IUPUI Brain Bee will receive a trip for two to compete in the National Brain Bee competition. The national competition will be held March 14-15, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. The winner of the National Bee will receive $1500, a paid summer internship with an esteemed neuroscientist, and a trip to compete in the International Brain Bee Championship in Washington, DC, part of the International Brain Research Organization Congress from September 7 – 10.

The International Brain Bee competitions aim to motivate young people to learn about the brain, capture their imagination and inspire them to pursue careers in brain-related fields. The regional contest is organized and judged by the Neuroscience Program faculty from the School of Science at IUPUI. The Neuroscience Program and departments of psychology and biology sponsor the local Brain Bee as part of the School of Science’s commitment to advancing scientific minds, and fostering community interest in the sciences.

The School of Science is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service in the biological, physical, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The School is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research and science education in support of Indiana's effort to expand and diversify its economy.  For more information visit