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5 November, 2021

Students excel in Brain Bee Challenge

TWO YEAR 10 students from the Cairns region have taken out first and third place in the state final of The University of Queensland’s Brain Bee Challenge.

From left: Caitlin Wadley, Marcus Paice and Amelia Reynolds. Photograph supplied by Queensland Brain Institute

CAITLIN WADLEY from St Stephens Catholic College, Mareeba came first place and Amelia Reynolds from the Cairns School of Distance Education came third. Second place went to Marcus Paice from St John’s Anglican College, Forest Lake.

 The trio competed against 700 other students to make the shortlist of 33 who were invited to the UQ’s Brain Institute for the final round where they were tested about brain biology, mechanisms and diseases. 

Amelia, a keen dancer, said having a better understanding of brain function was an advantage she was keen to make use of. 

“Understanding how the brain controls the body is not only critical to dancers like me, but benefits all of us. There’s still so much that neuroscientists don’t know, and that’s exciting,” she said. 

Amelia has been offered an internship at the Queensland Brain Institute where she will have the opportunity to learn more about neuroscience and the work researchers are doing. 

Caitlin and Marcus have already undertaken their week-long internships during the school holidays. Caitlin joined Associate Professor Ethan Scott’s lab, working with zebrafish and looking at how sensory stimuli are perceived and processed in the brain. Marcus worked with Dr Xuan Vinh To in Dr Fatima Nasrallah’s group studying neuroimaging and traumatic brain injury. Amelia will be completing her internship in December. 

The Australian Brain Bee Challenge is an international competition for students to learn about the brain and its functions, learn about neuroscience research, find out about careers in neuroscience and to dispel misconceptions about neurological and mental illnesses.

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