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Local high school students compete at Chicago Brain Bee

More than 60 students from 18 high schools from the Chicago area participated in the 2019 Chicago Brain Bee that took place on February 9. This marked the third year that the College’s chapter of Nu Rho Psi, a national neuroscience honor society, planned the event.

This annual bee is sponsored by the society for Neuroscience Chicago Chapter to test and recognize high school students about their knowledge of neuroscience. 

  The day-long event presented the high school students with the opportunity to interact with current Lake Forest students and understand their research and tour the new Lilard Science Center.

Later in the day, the finalists took the stage and competed for their chance at winning the title of 2019 Chicago Brain Bee recipient. This year’s bee was thrilling to watch and the participants demonstrated high levels of mastery of brain facts. 

Disque D. and Carol Gram Deane Professor of Biological Sciences Shubhik DebBurman spoke highly of the Liza Mrackova ’19 and Yoan Ganev ’19,  student leaders of Nu Rho Psi, who prepared for the Brain Bee for months. “An exceptional level of student leadership was portrayed,” he said. “They went beyond what academic honoraries typically do nationally.”  

2019 Chicago Brain BeeGanev agreed that planning the Brain Bee was “a long process that required lots of attention to detail,” but in the end “was very rewarding.”

“I was extremely impressed by the dedication to the study of the brain that these high school students demonstrated,” Ganev added. “Their enthusiasm was infectious. They were able to answer questions that demonstrated a high-level understanding of neuroscience and the process of research.’  

 The 2019 Chicago Brain Bee winners were as follows:  

  • First place: Shouri Bochetty, Illinois Math and Science Academy 
  • Second place: Michelle Kwon, Glenbard South High School 
  • Third place: Krishnachandra Nair, Illinois Math and Science Academy 

“I was thrilled when I won the Brain Bee competition this year,” Bochetty said. “Last year, I made it to the final round but couldn’t make it to the top. I’m glad to see my hard work finally paid off.”

—Alaia Singh ’21