DC Brain Bee Champion Wins National Contest
Soren Christensen, a ninth-grader at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and the DC Regional Brain Bee champion, took first place in the U.S. National Brain Bee at the University of Maryland in Baltimore on March 22.
“The competition was intense and suspenseful,” Christensen said. “The competitors were all incredibly friendly. They were all incredibly well prepared as well.”
The Brain Bee is a neuroscience competition that aims to motivate high school students to learn about the brain and inspire them to pursue careers in the sciences. Norbert Myslinski, a professor at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, founded the Brain Bee in 1999. The Society for Neuroscience hosts the DC Brain Bee, which is one of about 150 local contests in almost 30 countries.
“Science competitions raise the bar for students,” said Laura Locklear, a biology teacher at Christensen’s high school. “Regardless of the result, a student will encounter new ideas, new concepts and hopefully become — even if just a little bit — inspired by their peers, by themselves, and by the topic at hand.”
Christensen will advance to compete in the International Brain Bee in Cairns, Australia, from August 21-27, where he will be tested on brain-related topics such as emotion, memory, sleep, neurological diseases, and research.
“Being able to meet representatives of other countries will undoubtedly make all the effort it took to get there worth it,” he said.
Locklear said that given Christensen’s dedication in preparing for the U.S. Brain Bee, she has great confidence that he will do well in the international competition.
“I am tremendously inspired by Soren’s success,” Locklear said. “I can’t wait to see what he can do in the International Bee and to hear about the competition and his experience later this year.”
SfN will also arrange a scientific lab internship for Christensen as the U.S. winner to get hands-on experience in the field.
“Meeting and working with professionals in a lab is important because I'll get a real sense of what scientists actually do,” Christensen said. “I really want to go more into the emotional frontier of neuroscience.”
For more information about the DC Brain Bee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.