Local competition creates buzz as students compete for Brain Bee title
Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) hosted a local competition of the Brain Bee this past Saturday, March 3, at the Center for Medical and Health Sciences on the campus of Liberty University.
The Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition, is specifically designed for high school students to test their knowledge against competitors locally, nationally and internationally. “The Brain Bee competition was a great opportunity to increase local, high school students’ knowledge of science while also serving as an opportunity for LUCOM and the community to invest in our youth,” said Katherine Christine, MPH, LUCOM Anatomy Teaching Assistant. “We wanted competitors to leave with a greater appreciation for science, neuroanatomy and a better perspective of what medical education looks like.”
Katherine Christine, MPH, and Amanda E. Troy, PhD, assistant professor of Anatomy, led the effort of organizing the competition. “This was an opportunity for LUCOM faculty, staff and student-doctors to connect with the community beyond medicine,” said Dr. Troy. “Since there isn’t a local chapter of the Brain Bee in this region of Virginia, hosting this competition allows more high school students in a smaller rural area to engage in higher education while providing them with an opportunity to represent this area in a national competition.”
The competition was comprised of one anatomy lab review, a Q & A session, a lab practical, patient diagnosis and a written quiz. “We want to show local students that Liberty University and LUCOM are great places to gain a valuable Christian education,” said Christine.
During the anatomy lab session, contestants spent time at different stations manned by LUCOM student-doctors who gave brief overviews of each section of the brain. Contestants then had 60-minutes to complete a written exam over the material they had learned in the previous session. After a short break, the contestants went head-to-head in a lab practical where they needed to correctly identify various parts of the brain along with corresponding functions.
The final challenge of the competition was a jeopardy style Q & A session where contestants received questions from a panel of judges and then had 60-seconds to respond with the correct answer.
While the competition was tight, Lynchburg native Ashley Okimoto rose above the competition and was crowned victor. Okimoto received complimentary tickets to compete in the 2018 USA Brain Bee Championship at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, March 15-18, in Baltimore, Md.
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