Arts & Sciences

St. Louis high school students compete, meet experts at Brain Bee

Brain Bee competitors participate in an optical neuron activity. (Courtesy photo)

Washington University in St. Louis welcomed 54 students from the St. Louis region Feb. 25 for the first in-person St. Louis Area Brain Bee since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Participants answered questions about the nervous system, brain structure, cognitive disorders and other topics in neuroscience.

Sanjay Adireddi of Ladue Horton Watkins High School won this year’s competition and will compete in the U.S. National Brain Bee April 21-23. He also has been awarded a summer research fellowship with Brain Bee organizer Erik Herzog, PhD, the Viktor Hamburger Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences. 

“My true passion for science was ignited in the Science Olympiad event and I wanted to continue to learn more about neuroscience,” said Adireddi, who is considering a career in neuroscience research. “Preparing for a competition-style event while also learning cool things about neuroscience was definitely motivating.” 

Past St. Louis Area Brain Bee winner and current organizer Sriharsha Gonuguntla, a sophomore studying neuroscience in Arts & Sciences, said the Brain Bee is a great opportunity to meet experts in the field. About 30 Washington University students, researchers and faculty members volunteered for the event, writing and judging questions, leading neuroscience demonstrations and participating in panel discussions.

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