Meet the ACT Brain Bee Queen!

Publication date
Wednesday, 23 Aug 2023

Shree Jonnalagadda of Burgmann Anglican School was crowned the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) winner of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge (ABBC) held at John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR) last week.

She will represent the ACT at the National Finals to be held in Brisbane in December this year.

ABBC is a competition for high school students organised by the Australasian Neuroscience SocietyThe Eccles Institute of Neuroscience at JCSMR hosts the ACT competition annually as an event supported by ANU.

The ACT Finals was moderated by Professor John Bekkers, Division Head of Neuroscience at JCSMR. Professor Bekkers stated that the JCSMR and the Eccles Institute consider this type of engagement with young students are very important as it inspires the next generation of budding scientists.

Students took part in individual and team challenges. They also had a valuable opportunity to tour around JCSMR laboratories guided by research scientists and PhD students.

The competition has four rounds and the initial round was completed in March this year. Shree and her team was selected through to the ACT Finals from the second round of the competition. The third round will be the National Finals which only Shree will participate. The last round will be the International Finals.

The Brain Bee competition became popular among high school students in recent times due to its lively and educational nature. It provides an opportunity for students to learn about the brain and its functions through a fun competition. It also allows students to learn about research and career pathways in neuroscience while helping dispel misconceptions about neurological and mental illness.

The competition commenced in 2006 to address a number of deficiencies in the public's perception of science in general, and neuroscience in particular.

The ABBC provides current and accurate information on the latest advances in neuroscience research, its value to the community, and promotes careers in science and technology. Leading the competition's ACT rounds, JCSMR and the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience inspire young students in the ACT to consider undertaking careers in neuroscience and medical research.

Some highlights of the Brain Bee ACT Finals:

Images: Kassapa Senarath | JCSMR Communications