7 July 2014

The challenge to find Queensland’s smartest teen is on again at QBI, with more than 170 high school students set to battle wits at the Australian Brain Bee Challenge.

The challenge to find Queensland’s smartest teen is on again at QBI, with more than 170 high school students set to battle wits at the Australian Brain Bee Challenge (ABBC).

Year 10 students from more than 60 schools will take part in the challenge on 22 July.

ABBC coordinator and QBI research group leader Professor Linda Richards said the competition included an anatomy test and short-answer challenge, with the top students going head-to-head in a live quiz.

“This is an invaluable opportunity to engage high school students and show them the real-world impact of science,” Professor Richards said.

“This year we have students coming to Brisbane from as far away as Weipa in Queensland’s Western Cape.

“They’ll have the opportunity to see world-class facilities and speak to leading researchers, as well as competing for the state title.

“Although it can be confronting to study diseases such as dementia and brain tumours, this competition gives students the opportunity to learn how these diseases occur and the chance to talk to researchers who are fighting at the front line to discover cures.”

Professor Richards said the 176 students attending could already consider themselves talented. To come this far they competed against more than 1100 Queensland students who took part in the first round online.

The state finalist will go on to the national final in Perth, where a winner will be selected to travel to the International Brain Bee Challenge.

The last three national champions have come from Queensland, and two went on to become international winners.

Current national champion Eva Wang – who will compete in Washington, DC for the international title in August, and Jackson Huang – the current international champion, will attend the state final and share their experiences.

“We’ve done incredibly well to have two of our students win the international competition in the last two years, and we hope that Eva will also be able to win the prestigious international event,” Professor Richards said.

“We have some extremely gifted students in Queensland and across the country, and neuroscience will be in safe hands if they choose a career in the field.”

Media: Mikaeli Costello, +61 401 580 685, mikaeli.costello@uq.edu.au; Professor Linda Richards, +61 7 3346 6355, +61 431 853 857, richards@uq.edu.au