The Chicago Brain Bee

CLICK HERE for information about the 2024 Chicago Brain Bee on Saturday, February 3rd at Loyola University Chicago (Lake Shore Campus in Rogers Park).

About The Chicago Brain Bee

The Chicago Brain Bee is a competition held early each spring 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.  The Chicago Brain Bee is sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience Chicago Chapter and is held annually on the campus of one if its member colleges and universities.

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.

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 and undergraduate students actively leading neuroscience research programs. Participants will hear talks from leaders in the field, meet graduate and undergraduate students, and learn of the many different pathways taken to a career in neuroscience. Tours led by undergraduates and faculty will take participants to see cutting edge of undergraduate science teaching and research in action.

Who can participate?

Any high school/home student from grades 9 to 12 in the Chicagoland metropolitan area 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. (Please note: there is a cap of 15 students per school; previous Chicago Brain or other Brain Bee winners cannot participate in the Chicago Brain Bee.)

The Chicago Brain Bee

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?

Click here to register for the 2024 Brain Bee.

After registering, you will receive an email confirmation and will later receive further communication via email. 

Registration will close several weeks prior to the event. We will be limiting the event to 60 participants.