Brain Bee Logo
In 2011, a group of six Science and Technology Honors Program (STHP) students organized the first ever Brain Bee in the state of Alabama. Out of all 69 local Brain Bees, this initiative became the first in the United States to be coordinated and executed exclusively by undergraduate students. Hoping to foster awareness about the dynamically exciting field of neuroscience, the team coordinating the 1st Alabama Brain Bee welcomed twelve students from high schools in the greater Birmingham Area. Students competed for the privilege of representing Alabama at the National Brain Bee. Jarrod Hicks of Jefferson County International Baccalaureate became the statewide competition winner. With a mere two weeks of preparation, Mr. Hicks placed 25th at the national competition.

For the 2nd Annual Alabama Brain Bee, we (a team of honors students –Jinwoo Hur, Sope Oguntuyo, Sasank Peramsetty, and Alice Zhang) aimed to broaden the scope of the competition. The 2nd Annual Alabama Brain Bee was a truly statewide competition that attracted 35 high school students attending 10 different high schools from 7 counties. With sponsorship from a number of UAB departments and private organizations, participants in this free neuroscience competition received a continental breakfast, Brain Bee T-Shirts and a variety of door prizes. Based on her stellar performance on written and oral components of the test, Allison Kam of the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science became the 2012 state champion and received sponsorship to travel to the National Brain Bee in Baltimore, Maryland. Ms. Kam performed exceptionally at the national competition and placed 27th: she scored a 100% on the patient diagnosis section, 23/35 on the neuroanatomical practical, and more than 20 correct MRI readings.

In October of 2012, due to our novel experience coordinating the Alabama Brain Bee, we were fortunate to receive sponsorship to present a poster of our work at the Society for Neuroscience's Annual Conference and the Brain Awareness Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. While in New Orleans, we also attended the National Brain Bee meeting. From this collaborative environment, our minds were filled to the brim with ideas on how to improve our local Brain Bee: e.g. hosting a "Neuroscience Day" in conjunction with the Brain Bee, how to reach out to our target high school audience and how to improve the performance of our local winners at the National Brain Bee. For the 1st Annual Neuroscience Day we put on fun, interactive neuroscience-related activities for parents, teachers, children and other guests in attendance on February 9th, 2013. This year, the day is bound to be full of exciting activities for everyone present; we hope to see you there!