By Lia Windt
Tension filled the air as students from local high schools situated themselves in their seats to compete in the Brain Bee competition. Such anxiety can be attributed to the difficult questions they were to be asked, or to the fact that the Lecture Hall in Burton Morgan can be intimidating to teenagers who are not used to the college environment; most likely the former.
The Brain Bee competition consisted of 20 questions based off of biology topics, the first ten being level one, next five level two, and the last five being level three, increasing in difficulty respectively. Such questions yielded answers like “EEG,” “FMRI,” and “forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain” and these were just the level one, the easy questions. It really makes one think how challenging high school courses have become over the years.
Leading the event was Nestor Matthews, associate professor of psychology. He made sure the answers students wrote on their whiteboards were communicated to the judges, among whom were Karen Gunther, Seth Chin-Parker, associate professor of psychology, and Eric Liebl, professor of biology.
Neuroscience and Education Research at Denison (NERD) students also participated in the event by making sure the competitors had the proper materials and were comfortable. The whole process was carefully executed in order to ensure that students would not cheat, since it has happened in previous years. For example, some students would write down the answer to the question after it had been said, so that they would get the question right. Now students are required to hold up their whiteboards with two hands the whole time, and professor Matthews will recite every single answer in order to be certain that none of the students copy the answers. It is a simple and effective solution for this problem.
For every odd-numbered question that a student answered correctly, he or she would receive five dollars, whereas for every correct even-numbered question a donation will be sent to Central Ohio Lions Eye Bank. Rebekah Abel from Johnstown Area (homeschooled) received third place and was given $50. Anamika Veeramani from Laurel School came in second place with a reward of $75, and Sharonya Vadakattu won first place with $100, a lovely championship trophy and funding to go to the National Brain Bee in Baltimore, Md.
The Brain Bee continues to be a program which rewards students for their hard work by competing with other intellects, and helps motivate them to succeed in the future.