Registration will open in mid-November for the Max Planck Florida Institute’s (MPFI) 2013 Brain Bee Challenge on Saturday, February 9. This will be the second year for the annual event, which brings together Palm Beach and Martin County students in grades 9-12 for a “different kind of brainstorm.” Similar to a spelling bee in format, the Brain Bee is an oral competition designed to test students’ knowledge of neuroscience through a series of questions on topics such as memory, intelligence, stress, emotions and brain disorders. Students can prepare for the competition, which will include a written portion, by honing up on the book “Brain Facts” published by The Society of Neuroscience. The top three scores will be awarded a cash prize.

The top winner of the MPFI 2013 Brain Bee will also receive a trip to the National Brain Bee Competition in Baltimore, MD in March timed to coincide with National Brain Awareness Week. Last year’s MPFI winner, 11th grader Ilya Katz of Suncoast Community High School attended the national competition and placed 10th out of 5,000 competitors across the country.

“The Max Planck Florida Institute is deeply committed to expanding and enriching science education programs at all age levels, especially locally,” said Dr. Ana Fiallos, MPFI’s Head of Education Outreach. “Our inaugural Brain Bee Challenge was a ‘buzzing’ success, and we’re looking forward to even more high school entrants this year. We’re equally excited about another new program for high school students called the ‘Battle of the Brains’ that will coincide with our grand opening festivities.”

The Battle of the Brains is also open to high school students in grades 9-12 and will take place during the grand opening events celebrating MPFI’s new 100,000-sq.-ft. research facility in Jupiter. MPFI will display informational projects related to that brain during the public event on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012.  Students will be required to give a short presentation about their project and all entries will be reviewed by MPFI’s world-class researchers. Cash prizes will be given for the best presentation, best use of visuals, most creative, and more.

For more information on the 2013 Brain Bee Challenge, please visit www.maxplanckflorida.org/brainbee.html. For more information about the Battle of the Brains, please email education@mpfi.org.

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