Burlington Technical Center Students Take 1st & 2nd Place at 7th Annual Vermont Brain Bee

July 22, 2016 by Jennifer Nachbur

The 7th Annual Vermont Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition and day of exploration for Vermont high school students, took place Saturday, February 20, 2016 at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

Vermont Brain Bee finalists participate in the Oral Bee round in the UVM College of Medicine's Carpenter Auditorium on February 20, 2016. (Courtesy photo)

The 7th Annual Vermont Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition and day of exploration for Vermont high school students, took place Saturday, February 20, 2016 at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Thirty-six students fielded teams representing eight schools across the state, including Burlington High School; Burlington Technical Center; Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg; Essex High School; Middlebury Union High School; Mount Abraham High School in Bristol; and Otter Valley Union High School in Brandon. 

Eliza Kissam, a junior from Burlington who participated on one of two teams from the Burlington Technical Center (BTC), placed first in the 2016 Vermont Brain Bee. Her BTC classmate Ryan Martin, also a junior, placed second. Essex High School junior Sarah Whitehouse placed third.

In the team category, for which each team’s participants’ overall scores are tallied, the winners were Burlington Tech Center’s Team A (BTC had two teams), including Lydia Stricker, Anisha Neupane, and Eliza Kissam. 

Participants in the Bee completed both written and practical tests and participated in two oral rounds. In between and following these sessions, students listened to neurological and psychiatric case presentations by Sharon Leach, Ph.D., clinical neuropsychologist and licensed psychologist at the Stern Center for Language and Learning, and Feyza Basoglu, M.D., UVM clinical assistant professor of psychiatry. UVM Professor of Psychiatry Magdalena Naylor, M.D., Ph.D., presented a lunchtime keynote address on “Mindfulness for Stress Management and Well-being.”

Following the final Oral Bee Round, the participating high school students and roughly 80 spectators heard from a panel of UVM undergraduate and graduate neuroscience students about their experiences in the field of neuroscience.

Vermont Brain Bee 2017 planning committee members and judges included Lisa Bernardin, Vermont Brain Bee coordinator; Eugene Delay, Ph.D., UVM associate professor of biology and director of the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program; Sean Flynn, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurological sciences; Sharon Leach; Liana Merrill, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurological sciences; and Anthony Morielli, Ph.D., UVM professor of pharmacology and director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program.  

As winner of the Vermont Brain Bee, Eliza Kissam is eligible to represent Vermont at the 2016 U.S. Brain Bee, which will be held at the University of Maryland in Baltimore

March 18 to 20. Founded and directed by Norbert Myslinski of the University of Maryland, the U.S. Brain Bee is “a neuroscience competition for secondary school students that aims to motivate them to learn about the brain, capture their imaginations, and inspire them to pursue careers in biomedical research.” 

Learn more about the Vermont Brain Bee

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