Starting Your Own Local Brain Bee

The International Brain Bee is a great opportunity for you and your institution to reach out to high school students in your community. Not only is it a great way to get students to learn about neuroscience, it is a lot of fun! We would like to thank all of our Brain Bee sponsors and coordinators for their contributions to our program, and invite new individuals to help us make the next IBB Competition even bigger than the last!

Below are the basics. For more details on how to run a Brain Bee please click here to access the Brain Bee Manual.

The Basics

Starting a brain bee is not nearly as time-consuming or costly as you might think. A Local Chapter Brain Bee does not actually cost anything to run - all that you need is a location for the competition, a neuroscientist to judge the answers, and high school students. Each Local Chapter Brain Bee has a coordinator who is affiliated with a university, high school, museum, biotech company, society or other organization. Local coordinators are given the flexibility to conduct their bee at any time or place, and in any way they feel is best for their situation. However, all brain bees are required to follow these rules:

  • No recording devices can be used at the competition during the question and answer period
  • All Brain Bees must have at least one person knowledgeable in neuroscience to act as a judge (just as physicians, psychologists, neuoscientists, etc) - Email Dr. Norbert Myslinski if you would like help finding a judge
  • Each Local Chapter Brain Bee must have competitors from at least three different schools
  • No registration fees can be collected from the competitors for Local Chapter Brain Bee
  • Local Chapter Brain Bees must be open to any student who wants to compete, unless there are logistical considerations
  • A student can compete in only one Local Chapter Brain Bees per year
  • A student can compete in their respective Regional and International Competitions only once
  • Questions for Chapter competitions must be based on information in Brain Facts, which is freely downloadable from Coordinators only can create their own questions or obtain confidential questions and answers from the USA Regional Director Dr. Norbert Myslinski. These questions are to be used only for the competition and not for study or preparation by students. 

Local coordinators are encouraged to inform the media of the Brain Bee event, since the media loves unique events like this one involving children, science, healthcare and competition.

The Cost of Organizing a Local Chapter Brain Bee

A local coordinator should expect to spend a minimum of 18 hours on this project, but getting assistants to help you will obviously reduce the amount of time you have to spend. Coordinators may want to create flyers to be posted at local high schools, a program for the actual competition, and award certificates for the participants. The Local Chapter Brain Bees are grass roots efforts; as such, the IBB cannot offer any financial support to these chapters. Most bees are supported by academic institutions, businesses, individuals, or their Society for Neuroscience chapter. Your Local Chapter Brain Bee can be a terminal competitors are not required to participate in their Regional Bees - but most local winners compete in the Regional Bees. If you intend to send your winner and his or her chaperone to these championships, you must provide the funds for travel expenses and lodging at the Regional Bee.

Interested? Great!

To start a new USA Chapter, the potential Chapter Coordinator should complete and submit the Chapter Application Form to the USA Regional Coordinator, Dr. Norbert Myslinski.