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Release: Jan. 26, 2001

Fifty high school students to compete in Regional Brain Bee on Feb. 3

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- More than 50 students from eastern Iowa high schools will compete in the second annual Eastern Iowa Regional Brain Bee, to be held at the University of Iowa on Saturday, Feb. 3.

The competition begins at 10 a.m. in the Eckstein Medical Research Building. Students from high schools in Bettendorf, Burlington, Davenport, Dubuque, Marion, Riverside, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City will participate.

"We're very pleased that a large number of students have indicated their interest in brain science," said Robert Fellows, M.D., Ph.D., UI professor and head of physiology and biophysics, and organizer of the competition. "Our goal is to stimulate students to learn more about the brain and opportunities for future study in this rapidly expanding field."

The Brain Bee is structured like a traditional spelling bee, with students answering questions in turn until a winner is determined by process of elimination. Students are asked about the brain and its role in memory, emotions, intelligence, stress, aging, sleep and brain disorders such as addiction, Alzheimer's disease and stroke. Questions are based on information found in the book, "Brain Facts," published by the Society for Neuroscience.

The winner of the regional competition will receive $100 and an expense paid trip to compete in the National Brain Bee in Baltimore, Md. March 13-14. At the National Brain Bee, the eastern Iowa representative will join other high school students from across the United States to compete for a prize of $3,000 and a traveling trophy.

The Brain Bee is sponsored by 16 UI departments and programs: anatomy and cell biology, biochemistry, biological sciences, internal medicine, microbiology, neurology, neuroscience, neurosurgery, otolaryngology, pathology, pediatrics, pharmacology, physiology and biophysics, psychiatry, psychology, and radiology.

The Regional Brain Bee is one of three events to be held this spring at the UI in association with National Brain Awareness Week. Other scheduled events include "KidsJudge," a science fair judged by fifth graders on research presented by UI faculty, staff, and students, and a neuroscience poster session, talk and reception. Additional information can be obtained from Lesly Huffman, Regional Brain Bee Coordinator, at (319) 335-7838 or

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