Julia Donovan, 16, of Rye High School, took home the grand prize of $500 and a trip to the National Brain Bee Championship after acing Burke Rehabilitation Hospital's third annual Brain Bee Championship held on Feb. 27. The high schooler topped eight other competitors from throughout Westchester County. (Donovan, left, stands with her mother, right, after the competition.)
The local Brain Bee is the first leg of the International Brain Bee competition. The International Brain Bee is an annual, not-for-profit neuroscience competition for high school students designed to encourage them to learn about the brain and inspire them to pursue careers in biomedical brain research.
The competitors from Byram Hills High School, Good Counsel Academy, Pelham Memorial High School, Rye High School, Rye Neck High School and White Plains High School were judged by a distinguished panel of clinicians and therapists who quizzed them on human neuroanatomy, neuroscience, types of diagnoses and brain cell identification.
"It was fantastic to see such a great turnout at this year's competition," said Janet Goodman, LMSW, case manager for Burke’s Brain Injury Program and coordinator for the Brain Bee in Westchester. “We need to continue to encourage these young men and women who will be the next generation of scientists seeking cures for the disabling injuries and illnesses that affect millions of Americans.”
Donovan will move on to compete in the national Brain Bee on March 14 and 15 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore City Campus (UMB). If she wins the U.S. finals, she will go on to compete in the international championship to be held in Washington DC from Aug. 7 - 10, take home a $1,500 and have a paid summer internship with an esteemed neuroscientist.
The top three finishers are (from left to right): Julia Donovan, Rye High School (1st Place), Alice Xue, Pelham Memorial High School (2nd Place), and Stephanie Ding, Byram Hills High School (3rd Place).
Below, the competitors at the 2014 Brain Bee Championship.