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Release: Jan. 27, 2000

Area high school students to compete in first Eastern Iowa Regional Brain Bee

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Students from Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area high schools will compete in the first Eastern Iowa Regional Brain Bee on Saturday, Feb. 5 at the University of Iowa.

Slated to become an annual event, the competition will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 283 of the Eckstein Medical Research Building on the health sciences campus. Students from several schools, including Kennedy, Jefferson and Prairie high schools of Cedar Rapids, and Regina and West high schools of Iowa City, are expected to participate.

The Regional Brain Bee is one of several events associated with National Brain Awareness Week. Participating students will be quizzed about the brain and its role in memory, emotions, intelligence, stress, aging, sleep, and brain disorders such as addiction, Alzheimer's disease, and stroke.

"The objective of the bee is to provide a stimulus for high school students to learn about the brain, to develop an interest in neuroscience, and even to consider future study in this rapidly expanding field," explained Robert Fellows, M.D., Ph.D., UI professor and head of physiology and biophysics, and the competition organizer.

The Regional Brain Bee is structured like a traditional spelling bee, with students answering questions in turn until a winner is determined by process of elimination. The questions are based on information from "Brain Facts," a publication of the Society for Neuroscience. The regional competition winner will receive $50 and an expense paid trip to compete in the National Brain Bee March 14-15 in Bethesda, Md. At the National Brain Bee, the eastern Iowa representative will join other high school students from across the United States to compete for $3,000 and a travelling trophy. Participants will be recognized at a National Brain Awareness Week reception March 15 on Capitol Hill.

The Brain Bee is sponsored by several UI departments and programs, including anatomy and cell biology, biochemistry, biological sciences, microbiology, neurology, neuroscience, pathology,

pharmacology, physiology and biophysics, psychiatry and psychology.

The bee is open to all 9-12 grade students, and new registrations are still being accepted. Students interested in participating should contact Lesly Huffman, Regional Brain Bee coordinator, at (319) 335-7838 for more information about the event.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.