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Release: Jan. 17, 2003

High school students to compete in Regional Brain Bee Jan. 25

Students from eastern Iowa high schools will compete in the fourth annual Eastern Iowa Regional Brain Bee, to be held at the University of Iowa on Saturday, Jan. 25. The competition begins at 9 a.m. in the Eckstein Medical Research Building on the health sciences campus.

"We are pleased by the number of students who have shown their interest in neuroscience by taking part in this competition. Our goal is to have fun, but also to get students interested in learning more about the brain and discovering educational and career opportunities in this rapidly expanding field," said Anita Riggan, organizer of the competition.

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, emotion, 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 receives $100 and an expense-paid trip to compete in the National Brain Bee in Baltimore, Md. March 14-15. 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 several UI departments and programs, including anatomy and cell biology, biological sciences, neurology, neuroscience, otolaryngology, pathology, physiology, psychiatry 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 Anita Riggan, regional Brain Bee coordinator, at (319) 335-9968.

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