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Maine Brain Bee Set for Feb. 8 at UMM

Added on: January 17, 2014

Deadline to Register is Jan. 31

MACHIAS, Maine — High school students from throughout Maine will get a chance to test their knowledge of neuroscience when the University of Maine at Machias hosts the Maine Regional Brain Bee on Saturday, February 8.

The Brain Bee is being planned by the Psychology and Community Studies program at UMM with support from faculty at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the University of New England.

Open to students in grades 9-12, the regional competition is associated with the International Brain Bee, a not-for-profit neuroscience competition founded by Dr. Norbert Myslinski of the University of Maryland. The competition aims to increase high school students’ interest in the brain and inspire them to pursue careers in brain research. There are currently 150 Brain Bee chapters in 30 countries on six continents.

“As an external competition, the Brain Bee promotes quality learning and enhances the background of future psychologists,” said Dr. Uriah Anderson, assistant professor of psychology at UMM. “By bringing high school students to a college campus in the pursuit of academic excellence, we also hope to raise their aspirations.”

One of the collaborators from UMPI, Dr. Rachael Hannah, a neuroscientist and assistant professor of biology, will be serving as the official judge. Hannah helped initiate the Vermont Regional Brain Bee competition and plans to bring high school students from Aroostook County. Another collaborator, Dr. Michael Burman, a neuroscientist and assistant professor of psychology at the University of New England, plans to bring high school students from southern Maine where he coordinates the Center for Excellence in Neuroscience’s successful K-12 Outreach Program, which aims to increase interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines and neuroscience.

The winner of the Maine Regional Brain Bee will be eligible to compete in the National Brain Bee, which will be held at the University of Maryland in March.

The UMM Admissions Office will provide lunch and a tour of the campus for participants, parents, and chaperones. There will also be neuroscience demonstrations and practice before the Brain Bee competition. Students from Dr. Lois-Ann Kuntz’s Physiological Psychology course and others will be assisting with the competition.

The deadline to register for the competition is Friday, January 31. The Brain Bee will be held on Saturday, February 8, beginning at noon in the UMM Science Building. The snow date is Saturday, February 15.

Students, parents, high school advisors, and school guidance counselors from across the state who would like to learn more about the event, try their hand at sample questions, or ask questions about the competition are encouraged contact Dr. Lois-Ann Kuntz at lkuntz@maine.edu with “Brain Bee” in the subject line or visit www.machias.edu/maine-brain-bee.

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