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 About the JMU Brain Bee 

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.

Our Bee is:

  • Open to all students agest 13-19 in VA assuming there is not another regional Brain Bee being hosted closer to the individual's school.
  • Held on a Saturday in early-mid February on the campus of JMU.
  • NO-COST. In addition, participants receive a free T-shirt and lunch in our popular East Campus Dining Hall.
  • Broken into three different formats; group, individual and finalists rounds. All questions come from the fee online book, Brain Facts.
  • Hands-on and fun. Between the group/individual and finalists rounds, participants have lunch in E-Hall and visit JMU's neuroscience labs to participate in hands-on experiences with neuroscience faculty and students. 
  • A friendly, welcoming, and low-pressure environment. 
  • Supportive. The winner will be invited to compete in the National Competition. If this competition is held in-person, the winner may apply for a scholarship through the STEM Center to help fund travel and lodging. 

Feature Story about the JMU Brain Bee 


About the USA Brain Bee Organization

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:




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