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Registration open for Brain Bee competition for local high school students

UMass Medical School event to be held virtually on March 20

UMass Medical School Communications

March 09, 2021

The 15th annual Brain Bee competition for Massachusetts high school students will be hosted by the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology and the NeuroNexus Institute at UMass Medical School via Zoom on Saturday, March 20, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Bee 2020 Group Photo.jpg
2020 Brain Bee participants

The competition will consist of a written exam administered through a testing app and Zoom. The test will include multiple choice and short-answer questions on nervous system function, diseases and neuroanatomy, and diagnosing a neuropsychiatric disease from a written description.

In addition to the competition, each year the Brain Bee features a lecture on a relevant development in neuroscience. This year, Heather Gray-Edwards, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of radiology, will deliver the keynote presentation on gene therapy for Tay Sachs disease.

The Brain Bee Bootcamp, a tutoring program to introduce high school students to neuroscience and prepare them for the annual Brain Bee, was established by Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences students Devyn Oliver and Monika Chitre; it has been continued by Erica Kwiatkowski. This year, with a grant from the Remillard Family Community Service Fund, the program transitioned to a free remote learning/student community platform using loaned Chromebooks and community Brain Bee packages.

The Central Massachusetts Regional Brain Bee is part of the nationwide program created by the Society for Neuroscience to foster high school student interest in medical and laboratory neuroscience careers. The winner will receive the regional organization’s Andrew M. Sheridan Young Neuroscientist Award and compete in the USA National Brain Bee on April 10. The Andrew Sheridan Young Neuroscientist Award was established by Michael and Shirley Sheridan in honor of their late son Andrew, who had a passion for neuroscience.

Participation is free and there is no limit to the number of students who may attend from any given school. Competitors must be ninth to 12th grade students who live and/or attend school in Central Massachusetts. Preregistration is required by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 15. To learn more and register for the 15th annual Brain Bee, visit

Related stories on UMassMed News:
Remillard Family Community Service Fund awards eight grants to faculty and students
UMass Medical School hosts 14th annual Central Massachusetts Brain Bee
UMass Medical School hosts high school Brain Bee on Saturday