The Chicago Brain Bee

About The Chicago Brain Bee

The Chicago Brain Bee is a competition that tests knowledge in neuroscience including such topics as cells of the nervous system and how they communicate with one another, neuroanatomy, brain-behavior relationships (e.g. the neural basis of learning and memory, emotion, stress, sleep) and neurological diseases. It helps motivate our youth to learn about the brain, capture their imagination, and inspire them to pursue careers in biomedical brain research.

Every year more than fifty local Brain Bees are held throughout the US in a search for the “best brain”. The winners of the locals are invited to participate in the US National Brain Bee competition. This competition has been so exciting that it has expanded to many other countries and the winner of each national will compete in the International Brain Bee.


The 2016 Chicago Brain would not be possible without generous support from our sponsors:

Society for Neuroscience Chicago Chapter

UIC's Laboratory of Integrative Neuroscience

UIC's Graduate Program in Neuroscience

American Association of Anatomists

This year's Chicago Brain Bee will be held on Friday, February 5, 2016, at UIC College of Nursing.

Why participate?

The Chicago Brain Bee is more than a competition – it is a daylong event designed to expose high school students to primary neuroscience research and introduce students to professors and graduate students actively leading neuroscience research programs. Participants will hear talks from leaders in the field, meet graduate students and learn of the many different pathways taken to a career in neuroscience. Tours led by graduate students will take participants to see cutting edge neuroscience research in action.

The Chicago Brain Bee competition is a great opportunity for high school students to expose themselves to more difficult reading materials than they may find in their high schools. Participating students are eligible to win cash prizes (1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers) but all can network and potentially obtain research internships.

Who can participate?

Any high school/home student from grades 9 to 12 is eligible to compete in The Chicago Brain Bee. We encourage family, friends, teachers and other classmates to support participants and join them in the competition.

The Chicago Brain Bee

CLICK HERE for The Chicago Brain Bee 2016 flyer.

CLICK HERE for The Chicago Brain Bee 2016 Schedule.

The competition itself will involve a paper exam. The top 15 students based on the written exam will go on to compete in the oral exam. It consists of several Oral Question and Answer Elimination rounds. In every round, each student is asked a different question that requires a one word or phrase answer. Competitors are eliminated when they accumulate three wrong answers until only one is left standing.

How can you prepare?

Students can prepare by studying Brain Facts, a resource published by the Society for Neuroscience.

How can you register?

Registration is closed for the 2016 Chicago Brain Bee.


Please click HERE for a map of of the Wood Street Parking Structure at 1100 South Wood Street, Chicago, IL 60612


Please click HERE for walking instructions from parking to the College of Nursing.

For more information, contact Michael Calik (