Brain Bee

Alachua Brain Bee – November 2, 2019

We had a fun time at our 3rd annual Brain Bee. This year, the format was different, with the competition separated into rounds (written paper, board, head-to-head), allowing the students to engage more from their studying and the volunteers and competitors to interact more.

We had an amazing panel comprised of PhD, MD, and undergraduate students that provided tips and tricks on how to apply for college and how to get the most out of undergrad.

We had two speakers, Dr. Andreas Keil and Dr. Hillary Cansler, who shared and inspired the students with some of the work we do at UF, followed by a lab tour where the competitors got to see how the Philips scanner works.

The winners of the competition were as follows:
1st: Grace Harnsberger – Eastside High School
2nd: Audra Sesco – P.K. Young
3rd: Aditi Shukla – Buchholz High School

Now Grace is studying to compete at the national Brain Bee to be held in Ohio in March!

Stay tuned for info regarding the 2020 Brain Bee!




Registration closes TBD 2020


What is a Brain Bee?

The Alachua Brain Bee is neuroscience based Q&A competition for high school students. Questions will be based on information found in Brain Facts and Neuroscience: Science of the Brain. Topics covered include neural development, learning and memory, emotions, sensations, movement, stress, aging, sleep, addiction, neuroanatomy, and neural disorders. The first place winner will qualify to attend the United States National Brain Competition in March. Depending on funding, the winner of the Brain Bee will receive money to travel to this event.

Event Information

The Gainesville Brain Bee will be held on TBD in the DeWeese Auditorium of the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida (1149 Newell Drive, Gainesville, Florida 32610).  Doors open at 9:00AM and the competition will begin at 9:30AM.

A review session will be held (date TBA) and more information will be provided closer to the session.

How to Prepare – Study Materials

The questions for this competition will come from information found in the Brain Facts and Neuroscience: Science of the Brain textbooks.  Download the free EBOOK by clicking the title of each book!


  • Recording devices are not allowed during the question and answer period.
  • You can only compete in one local Brain Bee per year.
  • A student can only compete in the National Brain Bee competition once.
  • A student will have 30 seconds to answer each question.
  • The moderator can repeat the question once.
  • If there are multiple correct answers to the question, the answer can be overruled by the panel of judges.
  • Contestants will each take turns answering questions. Each question is assigned a point value. (1=Easy, 2=Medium, 3=Hard)
  • The competitor with the most points at the end wins.
  • In the event of a tie, a tie breaker round will occur. Questions will be asked to each contestant, until one answers incorrectly. The other contestant must answer the next question correctly to win. If both contestants answer incorrectly, the round will continue.

More Activities:

After the question and answer competition, there will be a panel discussion entitled “Transitioning from Undergraduate to Graduate School.”  Following the panel discussion, there will be two presentations on research being conducted at the University of Florida. The award ceremony will occur after these presentations.

How to Register

Click here to register for the Gainesville Brain Bee!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When does registration open?
    • Registration is currently open and will close TBD.
  • Who is eligible to participate?
    • High school students, ages 14-18.
  • Is there a cost to register?
    • No! This Brain Bee is funded by the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida.
  • Will there be review sessions?
    • We are planning on hosting a review session (date TBA).  An email will be sent out to all registrants two weeks before the review session detailing when and where.
  • Have any other questions?