Students show off their mental skills at Brain Bee


High school students from all over San Diego County came to the Neurosciences Auditorium on Jan. 31 in the hopes of winning San Diego’s first ever Brain Bee.

Contestants were asked questions about the brain in three rounds, each of which increased in difficulty. Before the final round, the competitors broke for lunch, giving students a chance to meet with professors and graduate students and talk about careers in neuroscience.

“The main thing is to motivate kids to be interested in neuroscience,” said Debbie Honeycutt, a development associate with the Neuroscience Institute. Although the competition has been held in more than 70 American cities, this was the first Brain Bee in San Diego.

Participating schools included Canyon Crest Academy, Francis Parker, La Jolla Country Day, La Jolla High, Torrey Pines High, San Ysidro High School and University City High.

The winner of the bee was Torrey Pines 11th grader Prabhav Jain. In addition to receiving a $500 gift certificate to the UCSD bookstore and a trophy, he will also be traveling to compete in the national Brain Bee in March held at the University of Maryland.

When asked how he prepared for the bee, 11th grader from Torrey Pines High School Varun Chaturddei answered, “Intensive cramming. For the past week, it’s been a tough time for me, 8 to 11 o’clock in front of the computer, PDF files in front of your face. And reading, reading, reading, reading, practicing and memorizing constantly.”

The contest was sponsored by the Neurosciences Institute, the San Diego chapter of the Society of Neuroscience, Life Technologies, Jean and Mike Collins and the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center.