The Chicago Brain Bee

About The Chicago Brain Bee

When: February 26, 2022

Venue: Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, the date for the Chicago Brain Bee has been changed from February 12 to February 26.

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

Society for Neuroscience Chicago Chapter

Lake Forest College Neuroscience Program

Lake Forest College Nu Rho Psi Chapter

Lake Forest College Admissions Office

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

CLICK HERE for The Chicago Brain Bee 2022 flyer.

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?

If you have already registered earlier for the February 12 date, please do not fill out the form again. You will receive further communication via email. 

For those who have yet to register, please fill out the form below. Registration will close on February 12, 2022. We will be limiting the event to 60 participants. 

Click here to register for the 2022 Brain Bee.

For all registration-related inquiries, please contact Lake Forest College Nu Rho Psi chair Dr. Shubhik DebBurman.


Click here for directions to campus, located at 555 N. Sheridan Road in Lake Forest, Illinois. Parking will be in front of the Lillard Science Center (#7 on campus map).


Check-in will begin at 9 a.m. in the Lillard Science Center (#7 on campus map)

For more information, contact Shubhik DebBurman, Ph.D. (


All participants and chaperones must provide proof of COVID vaccination, including a booster shot, by February 12. There will be no exemptions given. Participants and chaperones will receive instructions on how to upload their vaccination proof via email.