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Save the Date! 4th Annual Brain Bee will be held at JMU on Saturday February 12th, 2022. Details coming this Fall.

About the Brain Bee

The USA Brain Bee was founded in 1998 and is the world-wide neuroscience competition for high school students. The Brain Bee motivates students to learn about the brain, captures their imaginations, and inspires them to pursue neuroscience careers in order to help treat and find cures for neurological and psychological disorders. There are currently over 200 Local Chapter Brain Bee coordinators in more than 50 countries across 6 continents that conduct competitions annually. The winner of each Regional Brain Bee is invited to represent their regions in the National Bee and the winner of the National Bee is invited to compete in the International Brain Bee World Championship. The World Championship is hosted by a different country every year.

Brain Bees test one's knowledge of the human brain including such topics as intelligence, emotions, memory, sleep, vision, hearing, sensations, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, addictions and brain research. The local competitions are in the question-and-answer format based on material from "Brain Fact", a book that is available online at no cost. The championship competitions may also involve a neuroanatomy laboratory practical with real human brains, neurohistology with microscopes, brain imaging identification and patient diagnosis with patient actors. Source:

The first annual JMU Brain Bee was held in February 2019. Dr. George Vidal, assistant professor of Biology, is the director of the JMU Brain Bee. Dr. Vidal earned his A.B. in Neurobiology from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in Neurosciences from Stanford University. Dr. Vidal currently teaches courses in Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience, and Human Anatomy and mentors undergraduates studying the development of cerebral cortex connections. Dr. Vidal competed in the Brain Bee as a high school student and he credits this experience with inspiring his pursuit of neuroscience. The JMU Bee is open to students ages 13-19 in our surrounding region

About our Spring 2021 Virtual Bee

For the safety of our participants and the JMU community, we will be hosting a virtual bee this year. As with our previous bees, there is NO COST to participate. This year’s competition will be just as if not more engaging than our previous two years because there are elements we can add in a virtual setting that are challenging to do with the in-person format. As before, all of the questions will be taken from the free on-line book, “Brain Facts”. These questions will not be word-for-word out of the book, but will test your knowledge and understanding of the terms and concepts as well as anatomical and microscopic representations.  Some questions will simply be read to you, but many will involve a demonstration in our neuroscience labs. As part of this, JMU students from our neuroscience research labs will give you a sneak peek into the exciting research happening at JMU. We will mail signed certificates to the top-3 placing students. In addition, the winner of our bee will be invited to participate in the National Bee, which will also be a virtual competition held on the weekend of April 9th. 

We understand that coming to JMU, enjoying a free lunch in our dining halls, and getting hands-on experience in our neuroscience labs as we have done in our first two years is what makes the JMU Bee so exciting and you will still have that opportunity. While the future course of the pandemic is still uncertain, we are committed to inviting all competitors to participate in a JMU Brain Day designed just for you! When we will be able to do this is still TBD, but we are hoping to host this event for you at no cost on a Saturday within the first few months that schools are fully re-open and JMU classes are mostly face-to-face. We recognize this may not happen until the next school year and seniors will have graduated by then, but you will still be more than welcome to join us for this day of hands-on experiences in our neuroanatomy and neuroscience research labs with Dr. Vidal and his research students and a free lunch in our dining hall.For more information, contact

Photos of JMU's previous Brain Bees 

2018-2019 Bee

2019-2020 Bee

2021 Virtual Bee



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